Most readers know the author of this work has passed his 95th
birthday. His intention is to keep writing and saving until
there is enough for a book titled "Threescore and Ten Plus 25".
Of course, at 95 to write that much and publish a book may not
be a practical objective. Time will tell..
Threescore and Ten (Plus 25)
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten . . .” Psalms 90:10
At threescore and ten (plus twenty-five), you have lived through the last eighty years of the twentieth century and fifteen years into this one. These writings describe some of the changes I have seen over those years.
Although I don’t remember when it was, I started several years ago to write an autobiography under the title, Rerum Reminiscor, Rebus Credo. Many of you reading this know the importance of Latin in my life, and language experts may question the translation, but I believe that title means, Things I Remember, Things I Believe. Some of you also know much of that autobiography was included in "A Long Farewell", published in 2014. But a lot of it was not. This writing is intended to include what was not, as well as other thoughts and remembrances I believe are worth passing along.
Some genealogy should be included, and I had a good source for some of it in Betty Osbun Rogers, a distant cousin, who used an interesting way to identify descendants. In her notation I am G15-184.108.40.206.3. She chose to identify
Samuel Osbun, one of my great, great grandfathers
as generation ten, G10.
G10 Samuel Osbun
G11-8 Sarah OsbunSamuel’s eighth G12-8.1 James Osbun Hagerman Sarah’s first G13-8.1.7 William Gurley Hagerman James’ seventh G14-220.127.116.11 Nettie May Hagerman William’s eighth G15-18.104.22.168.3 Robert Truman Murphy Nettie’s third.
Something clear is with two eights and a seven in my
number, it's a good thing people had big families in past
generations or you wouldn't be reading this.
I don't have the same kind of information about my
father's side, but I must be G15-_._.1.4.3.
It is interesting to note that James Osbun Hagerman
and John F. Murphy were both descendants of Ohio
pioneers and lived not too far from each other in
Richland County. Of course, they didn't know each
but both attended a reunion of Ohio Pioneers at the Richland County Fairgrounds. I don’t remember the year.
Sarah Osbun married Joseph Hagerman who served in the War of 1812 under General Harrison. Joseph came through Richland County on a march following an old Indian trail and later entered the same land in 1815 and built his cabin there. Having seen his grave, I know he died in 1820, so his time was short in the fine land he viewed on the march.
James Osbun Hagerman came to Richland County with his parents when he was four years old. His father died when James was eleven leaving five brothers and a sister in his mother’s and his care. I don’t know when John F. Murphy came to Richland County. I believe he had lived in Stark County before that.
I was born on Home Avenue in Mansfield, Ohio on April 24, 1920 and had two older sisters, Vivian and Evelyn. My father, Willard, was a working man. He built truck tires for the Mansfield Tire and Rubber Company. My mother, Nettie (nee Hagerman) didn’t work outside the home at that time. The family moved to a rented house on Newman Street to be closer to the tire company then another on Wayne Street. While we lived there, I had a pretty severe bout with an illness that probably was rheumatic fever. I couldn’t walk, my legs ached and were kept wrapped with strips of flannel cloth. I don’t remember how long I was in bed, but I believe it was a month, maybe longer.
In 1927 my parents purchased, on a land contract, their first home on Myers Avenue. This was a working-class neighborhood. The kids who attended Newman Street School were from families with similar incomes. Scholastic abilities varied as they did in more affluent areas. I and three others my age were skipped from the first half of the second grade directly into the third grade. I had started the first grade in September, but skipping half of the second grade meant I would graduate from high school in January, 1938.
While I was at Newman, a Mansfield police officer, Frend Boals, introduced the Schoolboy Patrol city-wide. It may have been state-wide as well. Boys selected were crossing guards who would hold long bamboo poles with stop flags holding students on the sidewalk. When there was a break in traffic, the flags would be moved into the street to warn oncoming drivers. I was Captain of the Newman patrol and got to know Officer Boals pretty well. In 1937 Officer Boals introduced Safety Town in the city. Grade school children would learn to obey traffic lights and cross walks. The concept grew, and he received national recognition for this. You can read more by Googling Safety Town.
I attended John Simpson Junior High School for the seventh, eighth and ninth grades. The high school had been in that building until1927 when a new one was built. At John Simpson my grades were not quite as good as they were at Newman. They improved at Mansfield Senior, however. I don’t remember where I ranked in the class of eighty-eight. I know I wasn’t the top male. Paul Smith was. Smitty was a good friend and just plain better than I was in many ways, not just in scholarship. He was an excellent trumpet player. I took a few lessons on the instrument and gave up. He was a very good swimmer. Sometimes the two of us would rent a boat on Long Lake south of town. We would go to a raft in the area where most people would swim. Smitty would dive off and swim clear across the lake and back. I never was a very good tennis player. He beat me every time. That may sound like a drag for me, but it wasn’t. Being second best isn’t all that bad. I should add, however, that WWII changed Paul. He had gone to the University of Chicago, then enlisted in the Navy and was an officer on a cruiser. He was wounded, lost part of his left hand and never was the same person. He and his wife came to dinner once when Peg and I lived on Glendale Blvd. He seemed terribly self-conscious and just not the Smitty I had known. I never saw him again. He moved from Mansfield. One classmate who saw him in later years said you might not recognize him – he had become an old man in looks and behavior.
I said earlier that being second best isn’t all that bad. As a senior in my fraternity class at DePauw, I was Worthy Chaplain (equivalent to vice president).
Charles Molden was Worthy Master (equivalent to president).
In one very important situation, however, I wasn’t second best. And most of you reading this can appreciate the importance. You know Peg didn’t say yes right away when I asked her to “go steady” with me. I knew she was dating someone else. I didn’t know how often. But her initial reluctance was most likely because she knew she wouldn’t be dating him anymore.
I want to backup and write about some of the many changes in my lifetime. An easy to understand example is how news is spread. When I was a boy, an important breaking news event would be announced by a newsboy going up and down streets shouting, “Extra, Extra, Read all about it!” Now news is almost instantaneous on a variety of media plus Twitter, Tweet and Facebook
. Another example is flying. In the 1920’s, when the sound of an airplane was heard, people would run outside to see it. In the early 1920’s air service was sporadic. I don’t remember how old I was when I had a short ride in a Ford Trimotor. It had a 12 passenger capacity and was the first successful American airliner. Today thousands of commercial and private planes and are in the air at the same time.
There were no super markets Mansfield. There was a small single aisle Kroger store within walking distance of my home, but most of the time we went to Millers, a combination grocery and butcher shop. If you wanted a particular cut of meat, Mr. Miller would go into the big cooler, bring out the particular part of the beef or pork and slice it on the big wooden table in plain view. He didn’t take your money, but would weigh and wrap your purchase and mark the price on the wrapper. You would take the meat to the grocery side of the building and tell Mrs. Miller, one item-at-a-time, what you wanted. She would get an item off the shelf, put it in a brown paper bag and write the price on the side of the bag. When all of the items were in the bag she would add up the prices and add the cost of meat. You could pay then or charge it. On my many trips there, I always charged it. There were never any collection problems. The Millers lived on the same street as my family. They knew all of us, knew they would get paid and always did. There was an enclosed candy counter in the store with various brands of bars and lots of penny candy. I usually didn’t buy candy when I was family grocery shopping. But often, when I had a few pennies or a nickel, I would go there and Mrs. Miller would put the items I wanted in a small paper bag.
Many clothing and department stores were locally owned. J. C. Penny, Richman Brothers, Grants, Neisners, Woolworth and Kresge were national. The Penny store had an interesting money handling system. At checkout your bill and money would be placed in a small container that would travel to the second floor along a wire conveyor system. The cashier up there would mark the bill paid and send it back with your change.
I graduated from DePauw in 1942, having enlisted in the V7 Naval Reserve Program in my senior year. After three years in the Navy, including service on the destroyer USS Aulick, DD569, I went to work as a chemist at The Mansfield Tire & Rubber Co. in November, 1945. I don’t remember exact dates, or even the years, of other moves at that company. I had developed an interest in statistical quality control and became the manager of quality control. When the company decided to restructure its manufacturing management, I was asked to accept a position as one of five general foremen reporting to the plant production manager. After a year in that position, I was promoted to plant superintendent reporting to the plant manager. Five general foremen reported to me. In 1958 I was sent to Oakland, California to be plant manager of Pacific Rubber. Two years later I was asked to return to Mansfield as the home plant manager.
From there on, my management career was atypical in some respects. I didn’t stay at the tire company and move up in the company. Some critics (you’re bound to have some) thought I was fired, but I wasn’t. A company called Training Within Industry, TWI for short, had been working with the tire company’s supervision, and I joined them as a training consultant. I spent the next five years doing that, offering training in Job Instruction Training, JIT; Job Methods Training, JMT; and Job Relations Training, JRT, the three courses, offered to more than a million supervisors during WWII as part of the federally sponsored Training Within Industry service. I did business with 50 different companies having just one enrollee from some and many more from others.
At one company, Cooper Bessemer in Mt. Vernon, Ohio (I don’t believe the company is still there) I taught JIT to all of the foundry foremen. It came close to having unintended results. The company made large air compressors the bodies of which were big metal castings. After each casting was molded, some metal had to be chipped.to smooth the surface in some areas. There was nothing especially difficult about doing it, but training someone to do it was a very long process. I helped the foundry foremen develop a six-part training plan, one for each of the six sides of the casting. The time needed to train a new person was drastically reduced. The next time I visited the plant, I learned there had been the threat of a wildcat strike. Some workers had said no SOB from Mansfield was going to come down there and tell them how to chip castings.
I offered some training to groups made up of foremen from several different companies. I called one course The Foreman’s Key Role in Labor Relations. In the first session one man said he had to deal with the world’s dumbest union steward. I didn’t comment on that. But one of my teaching aids was a copy of a national union’s training guide for stewards. It was well prepared and was intended to let the union member understand his legitimate role as an employee representative, with suggestions about dealing with a difficult foreman. From time-to time I would mention some of those ideas. Once I was asked, “Whose side are you on anyway?” But in the third session, the foreman who had said his steward was the dumbest said that same steward had been getting easier to get along with. I wish I could remember who said it, maybe Art Linkletter, “When you start to change the way you think about things, the things you think about start to change.” Anyway, the manager of the plant that foreman worked for must have liked the results with that one person. I was engaged to go to the plant in Galion, Ohio on five consecutive Saturday mornings to present the course to all of the plant’s foremen.
I taught many sessions on how to improve methods. In the first session it was common to hear the students say none of the methods in their departments needed improvement. One foreman said his company’s industrial engineers had just finished studies of all the operations in his department, so he didn’t think any could be improved. I asked him what was the first operation he saw when he walked into the department and said the class would analyze that one in the next session. We did and had suggestions for improvements. In another case, the operation was packing the printed corrugated cardboard parts of a display to be set up at point of sale. The class came up with the suggestion to set up two of them at the same time and reduce the labor cost of doing one-at-a-time.
You can see there was a lot of satisfaction in this work, but I was a one-man-band, contacting many more than the 50 companies I did business with and then doing the training myself. I chose to approach three companies with the hope of getting two of them to take me on as part-time management development manager. I would work with their supervisors and department managers, one-on-one or in groups, in areas top management or I thought were needed. Two companies took me up on the idea. Later I accepted full time positions, first with one, then the other, leaving at its request and going back to, and retiring from the first. That may sound like, and it was, a bumpy career. My family was affected in a big way by the move to California. Other changes were made while we lived in the same house on Coleman Road. The last move from Bucyrus to Worthington was made when Megan was still in high school. The change from Bucyrus High to Worthington was one she took in stride. And, of course, Peg was always there as my anchor through it all. She told Eileen once in a conversation about what it was like to experience all those changes it was all right with her if it made me happy.
During those years, I saw many changes in management methods and styles. There was a period some called management by best seller. Managers would read a new book and make changes in their management styles. A CEO of one company, after attending a seminar on company cultures, told his subordinates he wanted them to establish a company culture. There was a period when there were many company mergers. Some so called mergers were more like the swallowing up of a small company by a larger one. Others were subject to critical review. Someone commented that you can’t put two turkeys together and get an eagle.
From my experience calling on managers asking them to enroll supervisors in my training classes, I learned there was no particular management personality type. One company president would talk to me on every visit. I had learned, by the way, to try to see the person who could say yes to me and avoid someone who could say no but not yes. At one company I did a lot of business with, that person was the female Personnel Manager. (That was before those departments became Human Resources.) Sometimes I would see a Vice-president or the Plant Manager. Some were out-going and easy to talk to. Others were not. From this experience, my practice later as a plant manager was, unless I was in an important meeting, to go to the lobby and speak to anyone who asked to see me, even if an appointment had not been made.
Another practice was to answer my own phone after the first ring. In 1968 on my first day as Plant Manager of Swan in Bucyrus I did that. When the conversation was over, the secretary came into my office and said, “I answer all calls.” I told her she should not answer mine until after the phone rang three times. The practice of having someone screen calls may have some merit for someone subject to a lot of crank calls or solicitations. Maybe, too, if there are many inquiries of a technical nature and it’s best to be sure the necessary information is at hand. Most of the time, however, in a business environment, I believe a caller will be best served if answered directly by the person called.
You are reading this on a computer that has memory. How much it has depends on how much you paid for it, how old it is and how much use it has had. The amount of memory in the computer inside your skull is somewhat like that, although original cost wasn’t a factor.
My memory is good for someone my age. Good for someone at any age, I
suppose. Once I wondered how many songs I remembered the tunes and
some of the lyrics for. I started to list them and stopped when I reached 100. l learned some of them a long time ago. Before I entered school, my father used to sing a song about a yellow tulip. I remember all of it, including the verse. A lot of people my age remember the chorus, but I haven’t come across anyone who knows the verse. He also sang Dear Old Girl, a man singing about his wife who had died. It didn’t turn out that way for my father, but it did for me, and I sing it often to myself.
Harvest Moon is another song many my age remember, but no one remembers the verse. Maybe I remember it because I can see the sheet music standing on our piano when I was a boy. The same is true for Carolina Moon and My Blue Heaven. I remember two songs (by Stephen Foster I think), because in the third grade Dick Donnan, Alice Martin, Ruth Bollman and I were a quartet that sang at school functions and once for the kids at the old Children’s Home then on Hedges Street. The songs were My Old Kentucky Home and Carry Me Back to Old Virginny. The first one is sung every year at the Kentucky Derby with words that aren’t quite the same as we sang.
Some things I remember by using a list of fifty words originated by memory expert Harry Lorayne. To help in remembering them, he pointed out that words from 1 through 19 on the list begin with the letter t, because there is one down-stroke in the typed letter t. Words with 2 as the first digit begin with n; because there are two down-strokes in the typed letter n. Words with 3 as the first digit begin with m. I realize that’s not easy to explain, and I’m not doing a very good job at it. But once you learn the words, and want to remember a list of things, you associate the items with words on the list. For example, I remember the order in which the states were admitted to the union. Delaware was the first. The memory word for 1 is tie. The map of Delaware reminds me of a necktie. I know that sounds silly, but it works. And once you’ve made that association it stays with you. I won’t tell you about the way I remember the order in which all the states were admitted to the union. Some of them are pretty weird. Just one more though - the memory word for 30 is mice. The 30th state is Wisconsin, known for its cheese. My guess is that if you’ve actually read carefully what I’ve just written, you will remember for a while that Delaware was the first state admitted, and Wisconsin was the 30th.
I also remember the presidents of the United States in the order they were elected. The recall process is different in this case. I have a newspaper picture of them in rows of seven. With each picture I have written the year or years he was elected. I see that picture in my mind and where each one is in that grid. That is photographic memory, which I believe all of us have to some extent.
You are probably wondering if, other than exercise for your brain, there’s any practical value in knowing stuff like that. To me there is. I would guess that I am like most people with lots of things to think about at the end of the day. That continues up to the time I get in bed. But there comes a time when I want to go to sleep. I just start remembering the presidents - Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and almost always go to sleep before I get even half way through. Other times I start to remember the states in the order they were admitted to the Union – Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. I’ll drift off before I get as far as Ohio at seventeen. I told that to Scott once. He said all that mental exercise would just keep him awake.
I must have exercised my memory pretty well during the first semester at DePauw - almost made Phi Eta Sigma, the freshman honorary. But I graduated with just a little over a B average. Guess I wasn’t using those little gray cells enough. At Midshipmen’s School at Columbia, however, I stood 38th in my class of 1,100. I must have been more interested in Navigation, Seamanship, Ordnance etc. than I was in Organic Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis etc. At different times when the Aulick was in port I took three officer training courses. One was for Combat Information Center officers. Another was advanced gunnery, and a third was for both officers and 40 millimeter gun crews on the gun’s York Power Drive. Got top grades in all three, indicating again that real interest in the subject matter is the best motivator.
Now that I mentioned the advanced gunnery and 40 millimeter gun courses, I will describe the guns on the Aulick. I don’t think I ever did that. Probably never thought it was worth doing. Maybe it isn’t now. Most of you will not find it very interesting. But I think some of you will, because you will realize that the WWII guns were very capable for war as it was fought seventy years ago.
We had six quad 40 millimeter mounts. A quad 40 had four 40 mm barrels. The ammunition was fixed, which means the projectile and the propellant were connected. The projectile was 40 millimeters in diameter. The cartridge was bigger. The rounds were loaded in clips, six in a clip as I remember. If I were in your presence I could give you an idea of how fast each barrel fired.
We had six twin 20 millimeter guns. The ammunition was also fixed and loaded from pre-loaded magazines. The rate of firing was much faster than the 40s.
The main battery on Fletcher Class destroyers was made up of five dual purpose 5 inch 38 caliber guns (barrel length was 38 times the 5 inch projectile diameter). Dual purpose means they were effective against air or surface targets. The ammunition was semi-fixed – projectile and propellant separate. The guns had vertical sliding wedge breeches that moved up-and-down, not side-to-side. To load a gun, the propellant, contained in a brass cartridge, was put in a loading tray leading to the open breech. The projectile was put in front of the cartridge, and the gun captain would hit a button to load, then fire. On automatic, the gun would fire when the breech closed. When the gun fired and recoiled, the empty cartridge came flying back, and a crewman wearing asbestos gloves would see that it went out onto the deck. When an engagement was over, the empty cartridges would be collected for return to an ordnance depot for re-use. A well trained crew could get off 20 rounds a minute – 100 for five guns. That’s impressive and may seem like a lot of firepower for a ship that size. But Brooklyn Class light cruisers had five turrets, each with three 6 inch 47 caliber guns. They couldn’t elevate to fire at aircraft, but at a surface or land target, a broadside could deliver fifteen six-inch projectiles. That’s really impressive..
Remembering words to songs, U.S. Presidents, etc. are good mental exercises, but what you remember about what you have heard or seen is a lot more important. Some cynic said you shouldn’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see. I remember a lot of things I’ve heard. Three in particular come to mind.
"The silence thought to be golden turned out to be yellow.” Carveth Mitchell, then pastor of First English Lutheran Church in Mansfield, said that in a men’s Sunday School class. I don’t remember what the lesson topic was that day or what point he was trying to illustrate. But in writing about it, I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 verse 7 that says there’s a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
Tom Norfleet, of Success Motivation Inc. said once in a meeting of SMI distributors that your father could have been a bank president or a bank robber, but what you become is up to you. Too bad we haven’t found a way to instill that attitude in more young people stuck in a recurring cycle that leads nowhere.
I remember what my freshman English professor at DePauw said to me about the D she gave me on my first written assignment. I must have been trying to impress her with big words and complex sentences. She told me I didn’t talk that way, so I shouldn’t write that way. As readers of this and other things I’ve written, I hope you think I’m still following her advice.
I remember many things I’ve read. One is the series of Ecclesiastes verses that includes the one I quoted earlier. Another is 1 Corinthians 13. I have requested that both those Bible passages be read at my memorial service.
I remember some poetry. Can’t actually quote much of it, but I have a source I consider valuable. It’s a section of a literature book I used in junior high school. I’ve had to bind it crudely to keep it from falling apart. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the book, so I don’t remember when it was published or by whom. I can leaf through it and read some memorable words. For example, William Cullen Bryant’s advice at the end of “Thanatopsis” about how to approach the grave:
"Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
And in “To a Waterfowl” recognizes that He who guides the bird’s certain flight,
“In the long way that I must tread alone
Will lead my steps aright.”
I remember some of what two writers said. Harry Overstreet was a writer and lecturer, and a popular author on modern psychology and sociology. His 1949 book, The Mature Mind, was a substantial best-seller that sold over 500,000 copies. He wrote about self-image and included what he considered to be such a statement by a well-adjusted person. I have never encountered anyone, myself included, who could measure up to Overstreet’s criteria.. But reading the words many years ago, occasionally re-reading and remembering some of them have helped me recognize times when I have been way off the mark, or once in a while, close to hitting it. At one place in his description of a well-adjusted person, he wrote:
“As Marcus Aurelius would say, ‘he is arched and buttressed from within.’” “Even when outer circumstances are against him, this individual, with his healthy attitudes and motivations, will have a fair chance to stand up against the battering. His temple will not waver to the dust.”
I hope everyone reading this is “arched and buttressed from within”. I doubt if many of you remember, or have even heard the song, Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries. Sometimes it is, but there are pits in cherries. When you hit one, or even more than one, some internal buttressing can make the difference between sorrow and despair.
By the way, if you’re not familiar with Marcus Aurelius, Google his name. You can read some of his quotations. One is:
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” Another is,
”Everything we hear is opinion. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.” That one reminds me of another by don Miguel Ruiz:
“The truth is silent.” I will write more about that later.
In another book, The Great Enterprise, Overstreet writes about religion in a way that challenges some beliefs and practices. He says that for centuries in our Christian culture, the question which has spearheaded our spiritual life has been:
“What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He says the question today that “bids fair to take its place as the number one spiritual question is of a very different character:
“How can we encourage love and diminish hate?”
Something from another book; Guides to Straight Thinking, caught my attention years ago. Writer Stuart Chase was an American economist and social theorist. His writings covered topics as diverse as general semantics and physical economy. In this book he writes about false logic. The two types we might encounter most frequently are over generalizing and self-evident truths
At a hypothetical town meeting Chase describes, the question being considered is:
“Should our town adopt zoning?”
“No! Because it didn’t work in Oldtown and it won’t work anywhere.”
This is over generalizing, sometimes referred to as the fallacy of insufficient statistics.
No! Everybody knows it’s a lot of nonsense.”
This is an example of using self-evident truths. Other opening comments might be:
“It goes without saying. . .”
“Any schoolboy knows. . .”
“You can’t deny that . . . “
Both of these fallacies can slip into written and oral communications. It’s good to recognize them for what they are.
To change subjects, some people may have a tendency to judge others. By that I mean criticizing or forming opinions about people without knowing enough about them. I can only guess how many times I have done that. I hope my experience with Alzheimer’s has helped me avoid doing it in the future. During those difficult times, one man I knew spent a lot of time with his wife who had that disease. His own health was deteriorating. I can still see him breathing heavily while sitting in the hall leading to her room in the nursing home. She outlived him. Another man I knew came, as I remember, only twice to see his wife before her death. She was in the same kind of mental decline as others in that corridor. He stayed just a few minutes each time. I would want to know more before judging that kind of behavior. Of course, knowing, or trying to know more is none of my business. Although I can’t help wondering, I reserve judgment.
I mentioned don Miguel Ruiz before. He is a Mexican author whose teachings focus on the Ancient Toltec teachings to achieve happiness. His most famous book, The Four Agreements has sold over 5 million copies and has been translated into 38 languages The Four Agreements are:
1.Be Impeccable With Your Word. 2.Don't Take Anything Personally. 3.Don't Make Assumptions. 4.Always Do Your Best.
Another book, The Fifth Agreement adds:
5.Be Skeptical but Learn to Listen.
It has been some time since I read The Four Agreements, but I remember what he writes about your reaction to seeing a movie, “The Story of Your Life.” You wrote the script, and you like the movie. Then you attend another theater showing a movie with the same title. But your mother wrote this one. It’s much different. You go to another theater showing a movie with the same title, but it’s written by your wife. Still different. We just don’t see ourselves as others see us.
To help people better understand relationships, two American psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 developed a technique to help people better understand how they relate to others. What they called the Johari Window was intended for use in self-help or corporate groups. I was introduced to it in a group of other managers at Swan. The concept can help an individual as well. Three panes in the window are:
What you and others know about yourself.
What only you know about yourself.
What others know about you that you don’t know.
If you are interested in changing the first area, you can tell others more about yourself and ask them what more they know about you.
You can tell others things you have never told anyone before
Learning what others know about you that you don’t know is more complicated.
Your age and life situation, and the nature of your current relationships with others, may determine your interest in changing anything. At my age I am not too much interested in changing relationships, although I can’t say I don’t care what others think of me. I have outlived most of my critics but know I still have some. And I may say something or do something that will create more of them. Old people are often capable of doing that. If I do, it’s not intentional, and I hope my mental state doesn’t deteriorate to the point where I don’t recognize the difference.