Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The misery that memories are made of

A very smart woman used that phrase, and I think she inadvertently explained a lot of life and business and everything else. I've since used it to explain everything from struggling leaders in Girl Scouts, to traditional authorities fighting to create meaningful change in Namibia.

Marilyn Braly taught me about memories and misery back in 1997. She was telling about Girl Scout camping trip disasters, rain, cold temps, meals that went all wrong, but despite all of it, the girls were always eager to go again.

"It's the misery that memories are made of," she said.

Soon I realized that the same idea applied to all of scouting. That idea of the perfect troop with the perfect meetings and all the perfect activities never comes to reality. But somewhere in the misery of trying, we create memories and we learn and grow with the experience.

Now I've come to realize that it applies in almost everything we do. Nothing ever goes as smooth as you planned or wanted, but somehow we manage to grow through the experience. It's like accepting that failure can be a positive thing because that is how we learn and grow.

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