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Shot Of The Day

The Boomerang of Knowledge

Have you ever inspired someone to do something only to realize that they understood the lesson on a deeper level than you ever had? They embraced your lesson and took it farther, deeper and longer. And so your teaching moment gets paid back to you in the most magnificent way. Like a boom-a-rang, it comes back and bumps into you and wakes you up again out of your complacency. You become the student of your own class — only the teacher has grown your lesson beyond a place that you ever could? It happened to me on Memorial Day. After teaching “Intensely Practical Digital Photography for the Everyday Joe” and preaching the truth that images are nothing if they remain on your little camera disc, that we all crave a legacy in pictures, that you may be the only one to actually do something with those pictures, that if you don’t start now your legacy may be lost, do it now, get started, etc… I visited my friend Stephanie in Princeton, NJ. She had heard every word I said and she had just started right where she was keeping yearbooks for her family using the publishing house I spoke about in my lecture — blurb.com. She had done a 13“x11” coffee table book for 2007 and 2008 already and she was well into 2009 when I saw her. They were magnificent because they were a realistic romp through the life of a family — landmarks, important events, little sentiments, and all published in professional coffee table books. Her kids aren’t going to wonder what they did when they were 2, 4 and 6! They have a legacy in pictures from their mom. Meanwhile, the teacher [me] was still trying to perfectly reconstruct the past before starting on the present — my dad’s life, my parents wedding, my dad’s letters from the war. They are all done, but the present that was unfolding before me? Nada! As soon as I got home, I started my 2009 book and have been loading memories as they unfold. At the end of the year, I’ll simply publish the year. Thanks Steph. What a great teacher you are. We can’t let the imperfection of the past eclipse the memories of the present. Where do you start when you haven’t kept up? Start right where you are, with the present. Wherever you are. Start! And in your spare time, work on the other stuff. You’ll be amazed at how much more time there is to focus on the past when you are totally engaged in the present.

Posted: 18 July 2009