We observe The National Day of Listening each year the Friday after Thanksgiving. During this time, set time aside to discuss and even record stories from friends and families. StoryCorps, an American non-profit organization first launched the National Day of Listening in 2008, and “to date has recorded more than 60,000 interviews among more than 100,000 participants in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and several American territories.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StoryCorps)
During “Black Friday”, many businesses open their doors for the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Alternatively, the National Day of Listening focuses on a day when families are more likely to be together. Being able to listen to and learn from someone important to us, such as our elders during this holiday season, is a great way to pass down stories and memories that we can treasure for a lifetime. Also, taking the time to listen to others gives them a sense of importance. That what they have to say truly matters.
It’s not difficult to engage in this tradition, and it’s something that you can pass on to the next generation. Using recording equipment such as iPhones, computers, or even recorders, can help preserve your family’s history in a way that you can share with others.
Help keep the stories alive by creating an archive of the wisdom of your elders. Forget trying to venture out during Black Friday. Shoppers are known to engage in violence, and many people are injured. Don’t stand in line for hours. Don’t camp out trying to secure a place in the front of the line to get that highly sought-after item.
Use that time to talk to your loved ones. Get them to share their stories. Some people may think that their story is not worth telling. Sometimes the ordinary story ends up being the extraordinary story! Honor your loved ones, friends, or even a member of the community. Interview them…listen whole-heartedly to them…record them.
Thank them for telling their story. Let them know how important they, as well as their story are to you. Share their story so that others may be moved with what you’ve learned.