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Thursday, January 6, 2011

I didn't know that


One of the first things I do when I wake in the morning is to glance through the obituaries to see if I've lost another acquaintance,former  coworker, or friend.  It's funny how much you don't know about people you have met , worked with, or befriended throughout the years. About a couple years ago I was reading through a former co-workers obituary and had to stop and re-read the article. I was totally  surprised he had once worked for the CIA.  He used to tell us about his military activities but he left out that important detail. I'm sure he had his reasons but it shocked me and several others that attended his funeral.  While I was giving my condolences to his wife, I learned of the love for his garden and some things that he wanted to accomplish before his departure.  That might be the reason, I read the whole obituary, to find out what my departed friends didn’t  tell us.

I love to read biographies and autobiographies because it gives me a sense of who the person really is and not what the media has made them. I love to say “ I didn’t know that.”

I guess that's why I'm totally shocked that the  younger generation is not afraid to divulge personal information on Facebook, Twitter, and text messages. I'm surprised I'm opening up in this personal blog I write. Perhaps, there's something good about not keeping it all inside. I still think that bragging is unnecessary because if you're that good people will come to to your position without self promotion.  I'm changing but I still admire those people that do great things but don't feel the need to tell the world about it.

I guess there is a reason they called the era of those born in the years 1925-1945 the” Silent Generation.” I've heard that's one of the reasons we don’t do well in today's generation of self -promotion.  I remembered the interviewer for my  last job asking me for more information because I just filled in the blanks but I didn't provide much detail.  I just didn't feel comfortable talking about myself.  When we are among some good friends and family, we allow ourselves to have that moment of self promotion but we know that among those people, someone will slap us back down into place.


victorianbybirth said...

I agree Mike. Especially on job applications, I fill in the required information & leave all the self promotion stuff out. I am not comfortable tooting my own horn, makes me feel like a braggart. Needless to say, I have lost many jobs because of that "flaw". I was raised to keep mum on all things personal, people that brag, have to, to feel better about themselves. I have enjoyed reading your personla blogs though, it is nice to have insight into the person behind the blog.

My uncle passed away recently. When I read his obituary, I was shocked & amazed, I didn't know most of his accomplishments, hobbies, etc. Of course, when I was young, they lived far away & we didn't see much of them, when we did it was never pleasant because my dad didn't like that particular sister & her husband (the deceased) was rarely in attendance. It did make for good reading though....he was a very smart & interesting man, it's a shame I didn't know him better.

Mike said...

Thanks victoriabybirth.

I met an old friend the other day who told me that they had just buried his father -in- law and after going through the family albums, he kept, they found out he had been married nine times. I don't know if my friend was exaggerating because that's highly usual...
Anyway, it got me thinking about things I found out after a friend died.