Do You Have a Ulysses Bucket List?
I stumbled across a thread on Reddit where someone posed the question, “What story have you been dying to tell?” It seemed simple enough and I read through many of the responses and just when I was going to stop, I found this response by Reddit user Yoinkie2013. Yoinkie2013’s reply has gone on to become its own subreddit (/r/Ulyssesbucketlist) and there’s even a very cool story that resulted from him telling his own story. You should definitely take a few minutes and read it. You’ll feel warm and fuzzy and happy afterward.
The TL;DR version of it is this: Yoinkie2013 met a stranger, named Amanda, on a train when he was a teenager. They talked for a bit and when they parted ways a couple of hours later, Amanda said to him,
“Tell me something you have done, or want to do, that you think I should do. It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy. As long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it, I promise I will do it.”
He gave her the act of singing a song a capella in a room full of strangers.
Amanda gave him the act of reading from start to finish “Ulysses” by James Joyce.
Yoinkie2013 goes on to tell about how when he traveled to other places he would introduce people to the Ulysses Bucket List and ask them to give him an item to add to his Ulysses Bucket List and how carrying out those tasks opened him up to new experiences, challenged his will power, and helped him be a better person. I won’t spoil all the examples that Yoinkie2013 wrote about, but one that I liked in particular was:
I met a man in India 9 years ago who told me to, for a week or a month, cook/buy twice as much food as I intend on eating, and give the other half to a stranger in need. I completed that mission 8 years ago, and thought about that man and the time we had all the way through.
I love this idea! In this day and age where technology, racial tensions, and political bullshit can make us feel isolated and downtrodden, something like this can actually lift people’s spirits and give a person set goals, while also helping us appreciate the impact people can have on our lives.
My friend, Holly, has already given me this item:
Hike at least one of the American long trails, at one time or in sections over years. Long trail, John Muir trail, Tahoe Rim trail, Pacific Northwest trail, PCT, Appalachian trail, Continental Divide trail, there are more. Some are less than two hundred miles, others are more than two thousand. I would love a task in return.
Tell me, in the comments below, something you have done or want to do, that you think I should do. It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy. As long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it, I promise I will try my best to do it.
Note: This was originally posted several years ago on my personal blog.
Photo Credit: Cameron Kirby