Talking is what got me to where I am.
I'm not famous, rich, popular, or whatever else would throw me higher on some hierarchical totem pole. This is just where I am in my life and I'm happy with it. Talking is also what got your favorite actor, musician, comedian, writer, to wherever they are today. It's an important factor in everyone's life, yes, everyone.
Chip, my brother, was a huge talker. Whether you just met him or if you knew him for years, if you sat him down and got him talking it was hard to get the guy to shut up. Chip passed on July 9th 2016 after thirty two years of talking, moving, laughing and memory making. He was never really around while I was growing up, he was sixteen when I was born and just getting ready to head off to college. But whenever he was in town from college, or wherever he lived at the time (probably New York City or St. Louis), I spent almost every waking moment with him chatting up storms. He’d take me to downtown St. Louis showing me loads of cool things I've never seen before and (of course) telling me plenty of stories along the way. It became pretty common for me to get amped up about Christmastime just knowing that Chip would be coming home.
When Chip got sick, he moved home with us. This was the first time Chip and I lived together and I wasn't, you know, a child. Of course the sickness was awful, cancer sucks, hospitals suck, doctors suck, but seeing Chip all the time was amazing. This is really where the idea for Chip In comes into play. Chip would ask me questions that would spark up stories of my own and I’d share him little tidbits of my life growing up. Chip In is a centerpiece book that centers around these questions and shares them with others, opening up those conversations that me and Chip had with others. It’ll open up those long conversations, similar to what Chip strived toward and build or strengthen your relationships with others. I want other people to have as strong as a relationship that my brother and I had. Being able to tell stories about your friend or family member to others really shows that you know them.
So, talk to others, share your stories, listen to others, learn to casually converse, like Chip did.