~ Submitted by Fahad Ken Alden
I started my podcast, “Lessons We Can Take from Today,” a year ago. The podcast’s premise came from the realization that the greatest lessons I learned were not the ones I picked up from a book or a college course, but from people.
I believe that every person, regardless of zip code, economic status, and even age, has a story or two (or more) to share – stories that tell about their successes, triumphs, and loves – and oftentimes, more importantly, their feelings, fears, and failures. I also believe that everyone can use those experiences to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
Yet, many people feel uncomfortable sharing their stories, especially when there is an element of vulnerability attached. Vulnerabilities, for many people, are seen as a weakness or a flaw – something to be hidden, avoided, or denied. However, that could not be any further from the truth. In fact, sharing one’s vulnerability can often bring people closer together; it helps people identify with one another; it confirms that we are not alone.
Here are a few examples of people who shared their inspiring stories on my podcasts who have made a difference:
- School committee representative Daniel Brosgol shared his story of how he dealt with being bullied and how he manages running a family of five.
- Brandeis student government president Peyton Gillespie shared his experience growing up with a single mom and coming all the way from Hawaii.
- Chancellor of UMass Lowell, Julie Chen, talked about her coaching experience and how those lessons in many ways prepared her for leadership.
Hearing how others have tackled universal experiences, such as fears, doubts, and insecurities, can give us the roadmap to better tackle our own.
In one of my recent podcasts, while running for a seat on the Bedford Library’s Board of Trustees, I took a risk and shared my story. I talked about the lessons I learned, mistakes I made, and funny moments that I experienced. The podcast also included voice recordings of some of the people who helped guide me through the process. Although it was daunting, I felt like I connected with a lot of people.
To listen to my podcasts, go to https://open.spotify.com/show/3Qywwjf6opgbOQLDxvNKkU?si=2SBCr2bPQNe8bRk7fR2yFg.
Fahad graduated from Bedford High School in 2021, and is currently a sophomore at UMass – Lowell majoring in digital media major with a minor in law. When he’s not a student, he hosts a podcast on Spotify called “Lessons We Can Take From Today,” where he interviews professionals from representatives to teachers about life lessons anyone can learn. He was elected to the Bedford Library Board of Trustees in 2021, making him the first middle eastern and youngest person elected in Bedford’s history.