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Meeting at the river-bank

“This is like meeting up at the riverbank, isn’t it?”, he said, as we sat with our coffees after lunch at the local bistro. “You know – each of us the outsider to the others’ territory. Like we’re usually on opposite sides of the river, and we might never really meet up in person as such – we only meet at the fence, meet at the river. And we’re each working down in the depths of all the detail in our own territory, so much in amongst the forest that it’s hard to see the trees…”

He paused for a brief moment, pensive, puzzled. “Should that have been the other way round? I can never get those clichés right…”

A bright grin, then he continues. “But because we’re on opposite sides of the river, we can each see things that the other can’t, because they’re too close to it – you know, like those rocks on the ledge below you at the river’s edge, or that interesting-looking hill that’s hidden behind the treetops. I can see it easily, but you can’t – but I can tell you it’s there, and worth looking at. And same with you for me. Meeting by the river, sharing advice, sharing stories – even if we have to shout across the river itself!”

What are some of your own ‘meetings by the river-bank’? With whom was that meeting? What were your respective territories – from different families, perhaps, different businesses or communities? Different cultures, faiths, professional disciplines?

What was the metaphoric river that marked the boundary between you, that perhaps kept you apart? In what ways did you connect across that gap? And what was it that each of you could see that the other couldn’t, because of that boundary, that separation, that distance? In what ways did those shared ‘insights from across the river’ help each of you in what you did next?

Choose one of those events, and recapture that story from your memory – the people, the place, the start-point and events, the comfort of the known, the learnings from the unexpected. What insights and other stories arise as you reflect on this?

As you do this reflection, note how much easier it would have been if you’d already captured that story in Zahmoo, in text, photo, audio or video – all already connected with other stories and anecdotes, and with all of that information already to hand, to prompt your memory and refresh what you’d perhaps forgotten…

That’s the real value of a Zahmoo story-bank, and of the discipline of managing your stories in the story-bank.

So if you’re not using Zahmoo already, get started now!

Image credit: river bank rock texture by mediadeo under a Creative Commons BY-SA-2.0 licence.

September 14th, 2012 by Zahmoo
Filed in: For Business, For Community, For Family
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Zahmoo is a story bank for collecting and sharing your family and business stories.