If you are a fan of National Public Radio (NPR) you are probably familiar with StoryCorps, a national institution that gives everyday people the opportunity to record interviews with loved ones, and ask the questions that matter.
With the news consistently surrounding political figures and celebrities, a look into our neighbors can be refreshing. Everyday people have wisdom, life lessons, and joy to share if asked. And while StoryCorps is first and foremost a special and unique experience for the participants, listeners also benefit from hearing stories from someone who may be struggling with something they have experienced, or getting a look into a completely different life full of experiences far from their own.
Beginning in 2003, NPR has recorded over 50,000 interviews across the country. And while they cannot possibly record everyone’s stories and interviews, why not record your own?
A recorded interview can honor the lives of the people you love, celebrate holidays and family events, and even create your own archive. In a world where most of our memories are now digital and only shared via email, the stories you collect can become treasured keepsakes that grow more valuable as they are passed.
Dave Isay, founder and director of StoryCorps and author of Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project, says "What StoryCorps is really about is the experience in the booth... It's about families taking the time to kind of turn off the computer screens, turn off their BlackBerrys and look each other in the eyes and tell them that they love them by listening."
This weekend, when many of us will gather with our families to celebrate Easter, think about some questions you would want to ask your loved ones. Maybe you don’t want to make it as formal as a StoryCorps interview, but why wait to ask the questions that you always wanted to know the answers to?
What are your parents or grandparents first memories? How do they want to be remembered? What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life? These type of questions may not come very naturally but you may get a peek into your history or learn something you never knew. And that is something to be desired.
You can listen to StoryCorps-Charlotte archives at the WFAE website. And for a free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide to prepare you and your interview partner to record a memorable conversation, visit the StoryCorps project website.