This was one of my mom’s favorite -but one I hated in my teen years. My mom had it placed prominently in our living room. She loved it because as she said, it was the last picture of the whole family together. I hated it because I was 10 years old at the time (the summer before my sister Barb got married and was out of the house). It was at a time that I didn’t want to be reminded of my little kid days. It was like someone calling me ‘Bobby’ when I wanted to be ‘Bob’.

It’s funny how we can look back at our life and reflect on situations from a different perspective. I can look back and realize that I was a little boy at the time and appreciate that to my Mom that picture was special. I am not that little boy anymore but that was part of my life. I don’t get reactive to me , just feel weird if someone calls me Robert, since I usually only heard that from teachers and my dad – which was included in my full name and I knew I was in trouble.

The same is true as we look at national and world history. When we were children we were taught a very simple version of many events. As we grow we obtain more information that can fill the gaps. And we learn to view things from a larger view, encompassing many different players in the events. We can see past the slogans and presumptions that drove the earlier stories and come closer to what really happened.

In doing so we are not being revisionists, as some would accuse. But rather getting a better understanding of the big picture, just as someone who puts together a jigsaw puzzle has to have all the pieces in order to have the puzzle match the picture on the cover.

So when you view your life,, be kind. We all make mistakes, miss things, get upset sometimes at the wrong things. Accept yourself for who you were and who you are, and simply continue to grow to be the person you were meant to be.