The Ultimate Time Machine

Carson - Urbandale, Iowa
Entered on September 23, 2010
Age Group: Under 18

Meeting somebody for the first time is awkward, getting to sleep as a child is hard, and the death of a loved one is painful, but at the funeral of my Uncle John stories of his life brought us comfort and much laughter. Stories often create commonality between two people, they can make us believe silly things, or even transport us to the past. I believe that most often in life a story is the best thing we can offer one another.

My belief in the power of one story was recently reiterated at my Uncle John’s funeral. He was a man who was ornery, had integrity, and was loving—someone who I was not ready to let go of. On Monday, August 30, 2010, the funeral opened with his daughter telling countless stories of the man he was—they were funny and truthful, later they passed around the microphone in the audience and asked anyone who wanted to share to do so. One man stood up to share and began his story, he said, “I was approached in the square by John who asked me to fix up his ’63 motorcycle, I went to John’s to drop off the finished bike, a week later, when John asked me what I thought of the bike. I told him it was something I only dreamed of having, I could never afford it. John then told me he only had me fix the bike so I could take it back home as my own, he never really wanted it. This continued as he brought me new tires for my truck and food for the table, all the while he got to know me—he never made me feel like a charity case, but his best friend.” Because of this one story, his reputation from my point of view, has been altered, he will no longer be just the funny man, but the most loving man. I feel like those stories were telling me to look beyond what I say, and look at how I make the people around me feel. I would only hope that someday I will touch as many lives as John did. Through the stories of his life he has taught me that we live for a power that is beyond us. We live for others and wouldn’t be anywhere without the love that surrounds us.

If we took the time to think about this we would realize that over 2.1 billion people believe in the story of a man named Jesus, someone that many of us, like John, have centered our lives around. That story has allowed many people to find their best friend, someone they love, and a source of light. Children around the world are told the stories of Santa, and they come to believe in his magical ways. Stories have shaped many of my personal beliefs, and it is stories like these that bring so much love and happiness into the world. They have the power to make people laugh, they can make us fall in love with an idea and they change us. I believe that it is stories that unite the human race through their raw emotion and attitude.