Racism as explained by a 9-year old in small town Texas.
I just hugged the man who murdered my son.
You represent a dirty four letter word. I said, “that word is love.”
Grandma with gumption.
These are some of the titles of the stories of everyday people, folks like you and me, from all over the world. They aren’t newspaper headlines or titles for blog posts. They aren’t status updates on Facebook or captions for Instagram photos. You don’t need subscribe to any sites or follow anyone to have access to the stories. You don’t even need to know the storytellers.
The stories are all around you. They are the wisdom of the ages. ALL OF THE AGES. All you have to do is listen. The core of StoryCorps is just that – listening.
“It’s about honouring another human being by simply listening to them. It’s about shaking someone on the shoulder, and saying, ‘Hey. Let’s talk about what’s really important to you.'”
Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, author of Listening Is An Act Of Love, and winner of the 2015 TED Prize.
StoryCorps aims to have an online community where all are welcome, and all are comfortable sharing and interacting with others. Their website, StoryCorps.me, and their new app (on Apple App Store or Google Play) were created to provide a platform for people all around this earth to listen, connect, and share stories of human experience. As Isay says – everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear.
Essentially StoryCorps is a place where recorded interviews can be uploaded and archived for anyone to listen to. All interviews are also being kept for future generations’ listening pleasure at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in the United States. Interviews are solely done by the participants – the interviewer(s) and the people they have asked to share their story. Maximum length is 40 minutes although many are in the less than 15 minute range.
I first heard about StoryCorps last year on a TEDTalk. Below are the links to that talk and a few others about StoryCorps.
So readers, I challenge you to take a look at the people around you. Family, friends, or even foes. Neighbours you’ve know all your life and strangers in the coffee shop you’ll only ever meet once in your lifetime. The little girl with the floppy ponytail, the 20-something future leader of our world, your ‘decrepit’ boss, the little ole man who walks his dog near the retirement home every morning at 6 am prompt. They all have a story. Whose are you going to record and upload to StoryCorps? Whose are you going to listen to? Who will you honour simply by saying to them ‘please tell me a story’?
By listening to each other, I think we can move the needle in this country toward becoming more compassionate and thoughtful. I think we’re in the first pitch of the first inning of a very long game.
In response to today’s Daily Prompt: Generation
Image source: Tim Hettler user on flickr.com, CC2.0 Generic