Everyone has a story

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Everyone has a story

Grace Carr, Editor in Chief

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Jim Carrey is one of the most famous comedians known today and he is worth one-hundred and fifty million dollars. Oprah Winfrey is an influential talk show host who is worth three billion dollars. Tom Cruise is an extremely successful actor worth five-hundred and seventy million dollars. All three of these individuals are used to represent the stereotypical interpretation of the “good life” filled with fame and fortune. However, they are more than just success stories. Each came from a history of poverty, abuse, and unhappy families; things you would not know about them from watching their work on television. This is why everyday, I remind myself that each individual has a story.

My curiosity for others personal accounts sparked at a very young age. I would like to believe it all started with my grandfather. Growing up, I knew he fought in the Vietnam War, but that was the extent of my knowledge. The only facts I had were 1) he was shot and 2) he was paralyzed on the right side of his body. I never understood what happened and how it has affected the rest of his life. After watching him sit inside on the Fourth of July, hating the sounds of fireworks booming outside, I finally asked for his story. The information I learned stuck with me from that day on.

After two years of service as a medic, Mel Overmeyer was shot in 1967. He was attempting to save his lieutenant who had also been fired at. The incident allowed him to return home adorned with medals, including two Purple Hearts for injuries and one Silver Star for putting someone else’s needs before his own. But shiny metal was not the only war souvenir he lugged back to the states. He came home paralyzed on the right side of his body, missing thirty percent of his brain capacity, and carrying the emotional toll of two years filled with blood and violence.

Over nine million military personnel fought in this war, and I only listened to one individual; one story of a medic and his fight to help others.

It is moments like these that make me ask questions about other people. Where are they from? What was their first job? What led them to their current situations? One thing I know for certain is that the cliches are true: people are just as unique as snowflakes. Which means no person on this earth shares the exact same experiences, thoughts, and emotions as another.

Our stories are what separate each other from others around us and they are the reasons we are the people we have become today. Yet, our stories are also what have the power to bring us together. The experiences, thoughts, and emotions we do share are the personal accounts that unite complete strangers. It is what leads us to form bonds and make connections with the world around us.

A story is powerful. A story is unique. A story is something everyone claims, and they are waiting to be told.

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