Keep in Mind Why You Are Here
– by Dani Stuckle
The above blog title is the phrase that confronted me on a daily basis for three weeks in November, 2015. It was a phrase added to the back of our name tags so while everyone else in the room could be reminded what our name was, the most was made of the blank page facing us. Keep in Mind Why You Are Here. Marianne Sheline, the Program Specialist at the Indiana Historical Society, thought it was a nice idea to try out on our class. It had such an impact on me that I added it to the wall of my cubicle so I can be reminded frequently that I need to reflect.
The “here” that I’m trying to be mindful of varies. Why am I in my current position? Why am I with this particular organization? Why am I serving on this committee? Why am I only at this stage of the project? This seemingly simple directive has given me countless opportunities to think about my career, my life, and who I want to be when I grow up.
Throughout the time I was in Indianapolis, I was forced to think time and again if we, as a profession, are really doing the best work we could be doing. Are we relevant to our communities? Are we connecting with people over meaningful work? What ideas can we take from other fields to make cultural organizations resonate with our audiences? I thank Marianne, and everyone else involved in making this seminar happen annually, for giving me so many things to continue thinking about.
Danielle “Dani” Stuckle
Educational Programs and Outreach Coordinator
State Historical Society of North Dakota