Yes, you are.
Let’s get that right out there, and no sassing back.
We all have stories to share about our lives.
As someone once said, “Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.”
When my niece Amanda was little, she would ask for family stories.
She adored hearing about the exploits of her dad from when we were growing up, one of seven kids in an eight year span, with a multitude of dogs and cats in a home overflowing with love, generosity, and occasional “I’m amazed we’re all still alive” hijinks.
As insignificant or boring as some of the stories seemed, especially in the retelling, she never tired of hearing them.
You may similarly think your stories aren’t interesting, perfectly wonderful, or that you can’t do justice by writing them down.
They are and you can.
It’s like the excuse I often hear about taking photographs: I don’t have a nice camera or take good pictures like you do.
Any picture you take, any story you record is one you now will have, and it will be treasured, if not now, then certainly later.
As Publius Vergilius Maro wisely said, “Your descendants shall gather your fruits.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gathered the fruits of my forebears as I meander through family photo albums and savor the the notes, or enjoy one of the family histories my grandmother wrote.
Of course, I have gathered some inspiration and resources to help get you rolling.
The StoryCorps Project. The website notes, “StoryCorps records and preserves the stories of everyday people, and is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.” They provide practical resources and information to get you rolling, including a do-it-yourself section.
There is even a comprehensive list of questions to help you get the conversation started! If you’d like to read collections of the stories, the organization has several books available, including the most recent Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorp.
Writing Your Life: A Guide to Writing Autobiographies. Riddle me this: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same goes for getting your stories down. One small tale at a time.
Amazon’s description states the book is “an easy-to-follow guide that includes thought-provoking questions, encouraging suggestions, memory-jogging activities, tips for writing, advice on publishing one’s stories in print and online, and examples of ordinary people’s writing.” Don’t be put off by thinking that you need an entire recounting of your life, because any memory you are able to pass down one that will be appreciated by your family.
I am Second. Video is an incredibly powerful medium through which to tell your story or to interview someone else to share your collective memories. I know. I can hear you complaining about how awful you look on camera. Just stop it! The people who love you, well, love you just as you are. And if you don’t like video or audio, stick with the written word. Still, to be able to see and hear a grandparent or parent share about their lives brings an additional dimension to the story. Just food for thought, my friends.
Back to the website:
I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.
This highlights an additional layer to the reason we share our stories. Not only will our family enjoy those oft-told tales, but they might also gather courage, inspiration and insight. What a priceless gift! The link above goes to the video of Olympic Gold Medalist figure skater Scott Hamilton’s interview of how he dealt with a re-occurring brain tumor. I found his story compelling, along with so many of the other videos which are divided by topic.
That’s all for this edition of Saturday Sips: Sharing refreshment and insight—wisdom, information, encouragement—for your life.
Now it’s time for you to go forth and write, record, or video, for you are a storyteller!
Challenge: Choose just one story, and get it recorded on paper, audio, or video this week.
Question: What has to happen so you will take this first step?
Upper photo: Pink Sherbet Photography
Saturday Sips photo: Pink Sherbet Photography