Friday, November 21, 2008

StoryCorps To Make Black Friday A Time To Listen, Instead of Shop

National Day of Listening an Ideal Alternative to the Malls Next Week

The folks at StoryCorps have chosen the day after Thanksgiving to extend their mission beyond their segments, which are a staple every Friday on NPR's Morning Edition.
They're behind what's called the National Day of Listening, in which people are being asked to record a one-hour conversation with a loved one, colleague, friend, mentor or anyone who intrigues them or has touched their lives. A few examples can be heard here.
I remember doing something like this with one of my grandmothers many years ago. It allowed me to hear her speak about things I otherwise might never have known; the struggles of a young bride, a difficult relationship with a stepmother; remembering her father's final days.
My family and I heard these stories because we stopped what we were doing long enough to listen. And learn. And understand.
We may often view those around us as ordinary people. Maybe they are. But they have often lived remarkable lives, something that StoryCorps, as good an oral history of Americans as any, proves every week.
Now you have a chance to prove it to yourself. I know it works. My grandmother is gone, but her words and her legacy is very much alive.

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