Hopeful Memories

Chuck Caldwell was a coaching legend. Teaching at a small high school, he coached football, basketball, and baseball. No high school coach had ever amassed more state championships. When his physical health deteriorated, he was forced to retire from sports coaching. But his mental health was still strong, and he was not willing to set aside what he did best: guiding young people.

Chuck decided to capture his memories of working with students through athletic challenges and also personal challenges. He called these Chuck’s Hopeful Memories. At first the written memories were therapy for him in that they allowed him time to reflect on his life’s work. Then one day a friend suggested that he post the memories on social media for others to view.

While Chuck was not a social media person, he decided to try it out. Chuck as a coach was a planner and generally had thought through all likely responses to a game plan. But he had not planned for the response to his memories. He was overwhelmed by the number of views he received. And the views kept increasing each week.

But what surprised Chuck the most were the comments that others posted in response to his memories. Some responses were those of gratitude for helping add a new perspective to a personal challenge they were facing. Other responses shared their own memories of similar situations.

Chuck was overwhelmed by the responses of former players and colleagues he had coached with and against. They shared his posts on their social media. They incorporated the memories into their work. Many brought the memories to their churches and community groups.

What Chuck began to realize was that he had not retired from coaching. Instead his coaching took on a new dimension with a much broader impact.

Our memories, when shared, can become hopeful messages for others. We need to think of our memories as valuable assets to be shared with others. What Chuck did was to turn social media from being a vehicle for personal destruction to a forum for lifting the hopes of others.

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“Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.”  – Unknown

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.