Top Ten Stories

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a slow one for the news. So various news organizations put together their list of the top ten stories of the year.

The Missourinet doesn’t.

It’s okay that other organizations do recall some of the big things that happened during a year. It’s a concise historical record.

But our top ten stories are unlikely to be your top ten stories. While we might say the Republican surge in November was the number one story of the year, your number one story might be the birth of a child or grandchild, the night you broke 200 for the first time at the bowling alley, the big deer you took in November, the new car you bought, the new house you moved into, high school or college graduation, the death of someone close to you.

So we’re not going to tell you what the big story of the year is, or what the top ten stories are. But maybe you should draw up your own list each year. Here’s why.

Each of us is a historical figure. We’re not likely to be the kind of person who gets a bronze statue in a public place made in our image. But each of us makes history even in small ways that are part of our family story. And by making those lists for ourselves and keeping them around, we’re saving that history. It might seem trivial today but you know what? Years from now your children and your grandchildren will appreciate knowing about the things that in some way or another shaped their lives through you.

We had a friend in college who shared a birthday. Every year we exchange letters and birthday greetings and talk about what’s happened in the 12 months between our birthdays. Every now and then I dig out a copy of one of the letters I sent and re-read it. The letters tell of our children growing up, of our travels, of the progression of events that shaped our lives or the things we did to shape the lives of those around us. They’re the history of us, a microcosm of our times, a tiny sliver of the world we lived through.

So what were your top ten stories of 2010? What will they tell people who read them in 2040 about our world as we participated in it this year?

You are important enough to write them down. And by writing them down you’ll be even more important in 2040.

Do not underestimate yourself or your importance. Write down your top ten stories of 2010. Do it again a year from now, and two years from now..and on and on.

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