Tag Archives: letter

The Story of Objects

I’ve been thinking about a small anecdote from Joy Harjo’s book Poet Warrior: A Memoir. She shares the importance of getting a cooking pot when her mother died. It was a pot that had been handed down for generations. It was the only thing she wanted.

OK, I’m going to come back to the cooking pot.

I could not find the original, but as I read Joy Harjo’s book I was reminded of an article that discussed how the digital age was eliminating natural artifacts of our lives. Love letters, books, old jackets, and other things future generations might find that would build a connection to us through those artifacts.

Back to the cooking pot. (I’m going to paraphrase because I have returned the book to the library.) The reason Joy wanted the cooking pot was for the stories in the pot. From having full bodied stews, to just water and maybe some carrots. How it held a flower and how each mother, for generations, had the pot in their hands. The pot was an artifact for Joy to stay connected with her family tree.

In her book, she explained how objects hold stories.

Artifacts tell stories.

But what objects do we have in our lives? What objects have we transferred our lives into? Or is everything just a bunch of 1’s and 0’s… stored in a rectangle that we replace every two years because we cracked the screen or we just want the newest color?

How many photos are stored in the cloud? When was the last time you looked at them?

I love my phone. I use technology everyday. But what am I leaving for my children? What will future generations know of me? 

This post is not about getting rid of technology, but a call to action to create real artifacts for your family. Pass on the stories of your life through letters, through pictures, through whatever artifacts that are intertwined with your day. They will tell the story of you, even after you and I are gone.

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Letter of Resignation

Dear World:

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as an active member of this company, effective today.

Thank you for the support and the opportunities that you have provided for me during the last 46 years. I have truly enjoyed my time, and am grateful for the encouragement you have given me while I pursued my professional and personal goals.

I know it is unprofessional to express why one resigns from a position, but I feel it is appropriate to articulate the issues in the company to help it move forward and find its way back to being great. There are many small things that have deteriorated over the years, but I believe that there are three main areas that the company could focus on that would take care of the small things.

Issue One: Communication

I know that the World is a huge company and that individual departments are busy with their own responsibilities, but there is no communication anymore. Not from the the top or between departments. Over time I have come to feel disconnected and isolated in this company. No one gathers at the watercooler or staff room to talk anymore. Also, we’ve stopped having activities that bring us together, like Christmas parties or company picnics. Everyday we sit behind our screens, ignoring those around us.  Unless there is gossip, then it gets ugly but I will address that with the second issue.

Issue Two: Culture

I am unsure how it changed, even though I think the issue of communication has a role in the negative culture the company now has, I can’t pinpoint when the company’s culture became so negative.  Every department blames the other departments for any failures the world has. And it has now come to the point that it is OK to publicly demoralize people in the other departments. It is not just gossip, but in memos and other official channels of communication I see negative and crushing name calling, blame, and threats for every employee of the world to see. The company’s culture is now divisive and walled. Each department only looks out for itself, striving to be seen as a great department.  We do not work together or work through differences for the betterment of the company, which is highlighted in the last issue.

Issue Three: Mission Statement

What is our mission statement? I haven’t seen it in awhile. Did we become too big to worry about having a foundation for our company? Even if it seemed like a cliche, a mission statement reminded us of our WHY. It highlighted the importance of our work and created a bond between employees. It focused our decisions and helped handle differences between departments. If asked, I couldn’t tell you what the World’s mission statement is. I don’t think any employee really knows. Each department has an unofficial mission statement, but the company has lost its own years ago.

If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. I would be glad to help however I can. I will be starting my own adventure as a writer.

Sincerely,

Jamey Boelhower

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Filed under Life