Nobel Prize-winning author Rudyard Kipling certainly understood the power of stories. He wrote some of the most memorable ones of the past two centuries, including The Jungle Book, Captains Courageous and Gunga Din. He provides his take on history in this installment of Treasured Wisdom.
Could it be that history gets short shrift because of how it is recalled and retold? It makes good sense. Stories connect us to things, people, events, eras and experiences by the human touch. This is why we get so absorbed in a good story; even if it’s not our own. We find ourselves an intimate observer of — even a participant in — things of the past.
Kipling was born in Bombay, India in 1865. He was from an educated British family. As a boy, he found escape and solace in books, at a time he was suffering abuse at the hands of a cruel foster mother while he attended boarding school. After getting married, Kipling moved to the United States, where he wrote The Jungle Book and Gunga Din. He eventually returned to England. His other beloved works included poetry and short stories. It is evident in his work his connection to children. His son, John, was killed in World War I.
Kipling’s quotation lends weight to our need to research our family stories and set them to print (paper and online). Every person, every family has interesting stories. The question is how to find and unlock them. Families with budding writers can leverage this resource. Others can use a little help, such as that provided by Treasured Lives.
The photograph that serves as our backdrop was taken in the spring of 1899 at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. A number of men in the photo were preparing to graduate, including a tall Oscar Treutel at front and center.
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