The greatest gift

Dennis

One of the greatest gifts we can give others is to bear witness to their lives.

One of the most important and readily available ways we can bear witness is to evoke and listen to the stories people tell that reveal what it has been like for them to live their lives.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a day that can serve as a prompt to honor and express our gratitude to those who came before us in our families and communities by inviting their storytelling.

To that end StoryCorp proposes that family members accept its invitation to “The Great Thanksgiving Listen” in which a StoryCorps app is used to record elders’ stories.

“The app helps users select questions and record and then upload interviews to the StoryCorps archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress,” NPR noted in its report on the project.

My experience as a hospice volunteer videotaping the life stories of patients near the end of their lives revealed to me the power of such storytelling for both the patient and for family members.

Take a moment this weekend (and throughout the year) to ask the elders in your life to share a few of their stories.

Include the teachers or mentors who were important to you  in your list of those you might interview.

I promise that you will cherish those conversations for years to come.

4 Responses to “The greatest gift”


  1. 1 Jamie November 25, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Thanks for the reminder about StoryCorps…I’ve been wanting to do this with my mom.

  2. 3 Peggy Alexander November 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Dennis, thanks for such a great idea. Just wanted you to know that you were an important teacher for me and still are through your blog. I participated in a training program 30 years ago that you wer ma consultant to. It took place in Northern California I Napa and Vcaville. You taught us many important things especially about supporting each other as colleagues. I still use many of your lessons today.


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