Murray described what was in his hand as something that, at first viewing, is a fairly unremarkable collection of metal. At a Time & Space expedition, we bring along, and share treasures around the campfire. People bring a tangible item that they value and share the stories that are attached to that object. It doesn’t have to be something of significant monetary value – just something that is valuable to the story teller.

In one of the sessions leading up to the camp, each participant shares their own story. Who have been the influences for good or bad in your life? What are the big events and experiences that have shaped who you are? Murray looked back on a life that had had a lot of twists and turns along the journey. I’ve been privileged to have heard many people in this mode (telling their story to a small group) over the years. It is a privilege because everyone has a unique story, everyone is different and it is precious to hear because people are giving themselves the time and space to take stock of their life to that point. Quite often, the person is telling their story in this way, for the first time. This was the case with Murray and he was a having a real crack, digging down to the things, the people, the events that had shaped him. A lot of stuff had happened in Murray’s life and a lot had happened recently. That’s all I can say… we respect the confidentiality of the small group.

Murray was happy for the story of the handful of metal to be told. Pretty simple connection he made but simplicity can be poignant and it was, in this instance. Murray was holding in his hand, his dog tags. He had experienced active service as a peace keeper in the Australian Army.

As Murray held the dog tags he said, “these represent a time when I made a good decision. I could have gone off the rails as a young bloke and joining the army gave me stability.” Then the wisdom emerged… Murray shared that, “whenever I have to make a big decision I get my dog tags out… I sit with them in my hand and say to myself, ‘I made a good one then, what’s the right one now?'”

What helps you to make a good decision? Feel free to write your thoughts below.

Thanks for taking the Time & Space to read this.

Bill Jennings