The turkey is eaten, the football game is is memory, and another Thanksgiving has ended. But more than just the food and other celebratory aspects, what about the people gathered around the tables in so many places—the ones who we’ve shared with, and have made an impact on our lives? Do we really know why Aunt Betty became a nurse? And, how did Mom and Dad feel about living in a studio that first year f marriage? It’s these “little things” that help us learn more about each other, and bind us together. It’s the stories of us that make all the difference, reinforcing our common bonds..
Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, saw this need to provide a simple way for people to record and preserve these personal stories through this project 10 years ago.
He states, “Listening is one of the most ongoing gifts you can give—and it’s FREE.” With the idea in mind to extend this beyond
Besides being over-hyped Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving was started as a “National Day of Listening”, since 2008, where folks are encouraged to take time out of their lives to ask those questions that matter, and share their stories. Now although the official day has passed for another year, there’s no need to wait another 364 days to make the personal life story connection.
While there are permanent StoryCorps recording booths placed in several U.S. cities, don’t let this stop your own project. You can interview a relative, veteran, neighbor, or anyone you care about. This can also be promoted through a school, church, or local organization. The interviewing process is really quite simple, and you won’t regret having done it.
- Select your interview subject
- Create a list of questions to ask, such as:
-What are you most proud of?
-What was one of the happiest moments of your life?
-What were r your parents like?
-How did you meet your wife/husband/partner?
-What makes us such good friends?
Other suitable questions can be found on the website—www.storycorps.org
- Find, borrow, or buy recording equipment – this is fully explained in an instructional guide on the web site.
- Choose a location where you’ll be uninterrupted for about 45 minutes.
- Set up and test the equipment.
- Conduct your conversation, and be sure to preserve it.
That’s it—remember, there’s wisdom and poetry in the words of who is sharing with you; just listen closely and embrace their stories. Isay summs it p simply:
“EVERY voice matters.”