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The National Day of Listening

This year, start a new tradition in your family the day after Thanksgiving: participate in the National Day of Listening.

The project was started by Story Corps., a non-profit group which collects stories designed to cherish and inspire others to celebrate life. I?ve listened to some of the interviews on NPR and it?s fascinating to hear them. The stories tell how people fought brave battles with cancer or lived through the great Depression or volunteered at a soup kitchen. It?s fascinating!

Usually, at least here in America, the day after Thanksgiving is spent shopping and rushing around to get the best deals for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Wouldn?t it be a neat idea to sit down with your children and parents and grandparents the day after Thanksgiving and spend some time together sharing memories instead of shopping? I suppose you could share memories while shopping too, but it wouldn?t quite be the same.

My children and I have sat down and asked my grandmother, now in her mid-80?s, various questions. We?ve learned a lot about her life, and the life of her parents and grandparents who were immigrants to America. In addition to that, we?ve learned a lot about American culture and how it?s changed over the past decades. One of my favorite stories was of how John F Kennedy rode by her beauty salon in the 1960?s when he was president and how all of the ladies ran outside with their hair in curlers to get a glimpse of him. This was, from what she told me, absolutely scandalous in the 1960?s. But it’s worth it to get a glimpse of the handsome president she said with a smirk!

Think about all the people with whom you interact with on a daily basis and consider the wisdom and life experiences of those people. Certainly we all have something to share and learn from each other. If you want to participate in the project, you can learn more at the National Day of Listening website.

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