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Everyone has a story

March 2, 2016

In my morning job, I work for a local real estate agent who specializes in farmland sales. Sometimes, he sells land to Hutterite Colonies, and so I have been working through colony directories over the past few days so that my boss can make personal connections with colony leaders (ministers &/or managers).

In doing so I have found a few interesting things:

  • Many of the families have plenty of children – not just 5 or 6 but up to a dozen!
  • Most of the families started having children soon after they were married. It was not uncommon to see a marriage date of 1955 and then a first child’s birthday in 1956. And another one in 1957, another in 1958, another in 1960, another in 1961, etc.
    For multiple reasons in the Hutterite value system, a big family is a blessing!
  • Regularly, the women move to other colonies when they get married, sometimes the young men move to other colonies. If a family has five girls and two boys, it would mean only two of their children live in the same colony. While the “outside world” often views Hutterites as one large family, the reality is those families are separated as adults. What happens in a young woman’s heart when she marries and moves to a new colony with her husband’s family, possibly knowing no other person?
  • Along with the birthdates and anniversaries, the date a person died is also given. Sometimes, a family has lost a child as a newborn, other times, as a youngster (2, 4, 8 years old).
  • Every once in a while, a family has lost a child (at birth) and later they give another child the same name, so in the list of a family’s children there may be two Annas or two Davids.

As I have been going through these directories, it has been a reminder: Everyone has a story… of joy and pain, of acceptance and rejection, of accomplishment and disappointment.

Leader, do you take the time to hear each person’s story as you work with them?


From → Leadership

  1. Thanks Steve!

    Sent from Andrea’s iPhone


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Leaders are Listeners | Leadership & Life
  2. Hearing a Person’s Story | Leadership & Life

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