Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Red Cross ramblings

Found this today, wrote it my first week at work.

My year starts with an existential question of sorts, how many ways can you tell a beautiful story?
This, like most rhetorical queries, comes down to the optimists and pessimists. The optimists say: there are an infinite number of ways to say one thing. The pessimists: there is nothing original on earth, there are a finite number of permutations and once you’ve maxed out those options—your story will inevitably become repetitive.
I don’t know the answer, dear readers, but I do know that my supervisor here in the communications and marketing office came to me this morning and said “Drum up some new and interesting story ideas, the blog is your baby now. We’ve got media and hiring and tracking to deal with.” (Lynn isn’t nearly that cut-throat, but it sounded good right?)
So here I sit, 22, freshly graduated, and faced with telling the newest chapter in the story of an organization over 125 years old. Daunting? Maybe. Do-able? Well, you’re reading this blog, so somebody was doing it before I got here.
Really, there are a lot of directions I could go with this.
The serious devastating truth of disaster and the importance of preparedness. The raw face of human tragedy, aided by the harrowing figures in mesh-vest and red marking. But that seems a little heavy… especially for 250 word blog post on a Monday afternoon.
I could take my childhood fascination with Harriet the Spy and delve deep into the infrastructure of the American Red Cross. Find out who and what keeps us moving trucks out at a moments notice to middle-of-the-night DAT fire runs all around the city. Or whose life we are sustaining with free rides to doctors’ appointments through the community transportation program.

These stories have been told before. I know that.
But look back on your favorite book, play, movie, even television show. You can trace their basic plot lines back to The Bard and the pre-raphealites, the epic poets, the writers of the parables, Aesop’s fables, Grimm’s Fairytales… everything’s been done.
Does that make them any less enjoyable?