Last week I promised interviews with these WWII POWs, but the learning curve on the video editing program was too great.
Do you ever get really revved about starting something new, and it turns out to be much harder than you thought? You start wondering if it's just a waste of time. That was me this week.
I had this idea that I could produce short videos about history that people might want to watch. I believe history matters. I believe that we learn from the past, and I’m fascinated when I discover some new vantage on an event I thought I understood.
I started off with high hopes, but ended up feeling defeated by technology. It would be easy to listen to that voice telling me this is a fruitless use of my time. But I want to live a little. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that. What’s the cost of a few days learning something new? A few days. Maybe a week. Now that’s living on the edge. :)
I feel silly when I realize I’ve become so entrenched that a project like this feels like a risk. But different things are risky for different people. Some people skydive or swim with sharks, but fear intimate relationships.
Others live openhearted, creative lives, but don’t chance commitment.
What I fear is failure, or looking foolish. Or both. If I stick to things I already know how to do, there’s less chance I’ll look silly and I won’t have frittered away my time.
Advances in brain imaging technology show that human beings are wired to play it safe. But deep down, I know that moving out of my comfort zone is good for me. Looking back, it’s when I’ve taken a chance and had that difficult conversation that a relationship has grown.
Last week when I dropped everything for an impromptu trip to Oregon to attend a Living History event featuring WWII veterans, I opened myself to the painful truth of how inhumane we humans can be. The result—I was deeply moved by the strength of the human mind, body and spirit to endure extreme hardship and brutality.
And I had the chance to enjoy Multnomah Falls.
Click here for sounds and video of the falls.
Michael Ungar, Ph.D., a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia says there is evidence that doing things that make us uncomfortable offers a cluster of psychological benefits. He calls it "the risk-taker's advantage." People who dare calculated risks are healthier, happier, and emotionally resilient.
Here’s a great article on the topic: 10 Risks Happy People Take Every Day
So stay tuned. Technology will not defeat me. I will have interviews with the ex-POWs I met and with Jan Thompson who produced the documentary Never the Same about the soldiers surrendered on Bataan & Corregidor who survived “hell ships” and slave labor camps. Her father was one of them.
My new video project is called History Matters. It’s my little experiment with living on the edge.
What about you? Did you do one thing today that scared you? That's advice from Eleanor Roosevelt.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known stories of history. Stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers, in the blog comments, by email or social media.