Rhonda Lauritzen interviewed by Fox 13 news in Utah

This week marked an evolution for me. I am finding my own voice. I have spent the last seven years telling other people’s stories for a living and teaching classes on personal storytelling. One of my themes is using storytelling to pass along your values to your family. Doing this work for others shifts attention from me to them. I prefer it that way. 

By: Rhonda Lauritzen

Honoring the past vs. living in the present

Much of my work focuses on the past and not so much the present. But I am currently in the prime of life—not reflecting on my personal values—but doing my best to live them. This month, a community issue came along that was dear to me, and I realized that I have a skillset needed for this moment. Despite not having capacity to spare, I felt compelled to make time for this one. It required taking sides on an issue that could make some enemies. (Ugh. I am a peacemaker so that is way outside my comfort zone.)

So, why spend time I didn’t have on an issue that I didn’t have on an issue that would probably pass anyway? 

Living our values as an example

Because it mattered to me. Because it mattered to my daughter, and I want to be a mother who lives her values. Every day, I walk into my home office which I share with my daughter, and I look at a poster she made reading, “Save the animals.” She is always asking what she can do to serve, asking me to look up what age various nonprofits will accept volunteers. 

What kind of person would I be to not get involved when an issue arose in our neighborhood? So, despite not having the time, I have spent the past month participating with a group of residents in speaking out. I had the privilege of compiling resident comments into a press release, and yesterday spoke at a press conference at the State Capitol. 

Showing up despite opposition

The final vote did not go our way—we knew from the start that the decision was likely already a done deal. Any public input would be window dressing. 

But we raised awareness and held government accountable to have a conversation with the community. Our press release was quoted in publications throughout the state. Our county created a public Q&A session and in doing so, made many promises that citizens can now hold them to as the plans unfold. Yesterday, all the big news outlets throughout the state covered the event, including two TV stations. 

When the final vote came down, the plans included some important concessions. I like to think that some intense pushback made a difference in moving the needle. It let government know that people are watching. 

My daughter joined me at the Capitol yesterday in a civics lesson for her. It was also a living lesson—not just storytelling after the fact—in our family’s values. My mom and dad raised me to show up. I hope in a small way to have made them proud from heaven and my daughter proud in the moment.

How and when will you use your voice?

About the author

Rhonda Lauritzen is the founder and an author at Evalogue.Life – Tell Your Story. Rhonda lives to hear and write about people’s lives. She believes that when you tell your story, it changes the ending., She and her husband Milan restored an 1890 Victorian in Ogden. She especially enjoys unplugging in nature. Check out her books: How to Storyboard, and Every Essential Element. Recently she was the writing coach of bestselling author, Rob A. Gentile, who wrote Quarks of Light, A Near-Death Experience: What I Saw That Opened My Heart

A note about the issue at hand

P.S. the issue is a 9,000-acre inland port adjacent to Great Salt Lake wetlands. My family’s business, Mineral Resources International knows the importance of wetlands as a giant water filter for Great Salt Lake. We value all life that this precious lake sustains. I personally walk on paths through the wetlands near my home. The loss of such of these sensitive lands is breaking my heart, but I am hopeful we can continue to influence development to protect as much as possible, ensure buffers, and hold the state accountable for designs that minimize damage.

Here are some the TV stories that ran yesterday.  

Utah Inland Port Authority approves new site near the Great Salt Lake


Massive inland port project targets western Weber County, concerning residents, environmental groups


West Weber Inland Port approved amid community outcry

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