I remember as a child, sitting at the Thanksgiving table and listening to the adults share stories about their lives and the lives of their long dead family and friends. I heard new stories and the same stories year after year and only slightly paid attention (because I was young and somewhat stupid). Now the elders in my family are all gone and their stories are only vague memories, just like a vivid dream that fades when I awake.
So this blog is to help you do a better job than I did. I was delighted to learn about the “National Day of Listening” which is the day after Thanksgiving. Story Corps, a non-profit, gives suggestions about how to collect and keep those stories. Some great questions to ask are:
- What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
- Who was the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did they teach you?
- Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
- What is your earliest memory?
- Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along to me?
- What are you proudest of in your life?
- When in life have you felt most alone?
- How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- Do you have any regrets?
- What does your future hold?
- Is there anything that you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?
- Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
For a “Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide” go to nationaldayoflistening.org. You will find the Instruction Guide and lots of other good questions and suggestions.
My best wishes to you for an enjoyable Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.