Sunday, November 23, 2008
Tell me your story...
Regular readers already know that I am obsessed with people's personal narratives and the value of their telling. There is a great organization called Story Corps which has booths all over the United States where you can go to interview a friend or loved one and elicit their stories. You get to keep the recording and a copy is also archived with the Library of Congress. They also have various special initiatives when they focus on getting stories of particular groups like the Griot community, or gathering the stories of people who are losing their memory. A National Day of Listening has been declared on November 28, the day after the American Thanksgiving (and so a day off for most Americans, except me). They have declared this as a day to get the story of someone you love or admire. As this is typically a day off from work and around family, it would be a good opportunity to get a story from a family member or loved one, but friends and mentors would be fair game too. You can do this at home, or at a local community center. They provide the details. I'd like to extend that invitation to you. You can conduct the interview in person, you can sound or video record it. You could also do a long-distance interview in writing. The Story Corps website offers instructions if you want some help getting started. I suppose you could even post about the experience on your blog if you wanted to. Showing interest in others by listening is an act of healthy curiosity, of respect, of love. It is of great value both to you and to them. So next Friday, get someone you're curious about to tell you a story.
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