Do you love uplifting stories? I’m talking about the kind of stories that warm your heart and put a giant smile on your face. For me, those have always been Paul Harvey’s radio show The Rest of the Story.
I first heard Paul Harvey’s radio program called The Rest of the Story in the 1990s on KABC radio in Southern California. I was commuting with a person who listened exclusively to talk radio to a research site in the desert. The stories started out with an interesting premise and a mysterious person facing a challenge while doing something unique or remarkable.
But that wasn’t the only hook. After the cliffhanger was set, the famous words, “now for the rest of the story” were followed by commercials to get the conclusion. This long pause left listeners anxious and wanting to hear the end. Who is this person? What is their story about? The end was a surprise that very few knew. Everything was tied together with a heart-warming, inspiring message.
The Rest of the Story gave me valuable lesson that I still apply personally and professionally ‒ always get to know people and their“rest of the story.” It can make all the difference in a situation.
When people are difficult or seem irrational, there is often an unknown or misunderstood reason. Many people have a “rest of the story” that they cannot reveal or do not feel comfortable telling people. It often involves addictions, financial problems, health problems, family conflict or mental issues that lead to challenges in life.
Think about these “rest of the story” situations we see in everyday life:
- When an immigrant is learning a whole new culture and language. When people learn that they do not speak English well because they are from another country, their perception changes.
- When financial stress and debt cause people to make irrational, bad decisions. The rest of their story involves financial illiteracy and being influenced by a consumer-driven culture.
- When a person is secretly struggling with addiction and displays abusive, harsh behavior. Once the addiction is revealed, the reason behind their aggression becomes clear.
- When a person is mourning the loss of a loved one. Sadness can manifest as anger and being distant from friends and family. But when people learn the rest of a mourning person’s story, their actions are better understood.
Sometimes we also need reassurance that even great odds can be overcome. Like the mechanic who used his hands to diagnose and take apart engines because he had been blind since college. Or how Oprah Winfrey struggled in her early career before she got her own show.
One story that really resonated with me was about a young immigrant widow with a newborn child and no way to make a living. She pawned her wedding ring to buy a sewing machine and started earning money the only way she knew how to ‒ by sewing. She eventually becomes a huge success and is currently well known by her Americanized name: Lane Bryant. I would have never known about her amazing backstory without Paul Harvey!
These unique short stories can inspire us each and every day. They help us connect with each other and teach us valuable life lessons. That’s why I love offering The Rest of the Story by Paul Harvey as an audio option to enhance your wake-up experience. We can all benefit by starting our day with positivity.