black friday, community, conversation, family, friends, history, holiday, lions pride, memories, national day of listening, National Public Radio, questions, record, season, shopping, stories, StoryCorps, thanksgiving
How do you plan to spend next Friday? If you’re thinking about shopping, see if this scenario sounds familiar. Your alarm goes off at 3 am; you turn it off, try to rub the sleep out of your eyes and make your way out of bed. Then, you venture out into the winter tundra, only to stand in line with dozens of other adventurous souls. The doors finally open and the friendships you just formed have turned hostile. You’re all after the same sales and every man is for himself. As you try to grab the last doorbuster deal on the shelf, you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
Rather than waking up before the dawn and freezing your buns waiting for stores to open, why not stay home and share memories with those you love? Consider starting a new after Thanksgiving tradition by celebrating National Day of Listening.
If you’re a long-time listener of National Public Radio, you are likely well acquainted with the concept of StoryCorps. Every week, the independent organization seeks to honor and celebrate the lives of everyday Americans by listening to their stories. They’re hoping you’ll follow suit by listening to the accounts of loved ones. In 2008, StoryCorps introduced National Day of Listening as a day dedicated to the history of family, friends and community.
On this day, they hope is that you sit down with a loved one and record the conversation. The device you use to complete the recording – a digital voice recorder, a smartphone or good old-fashioned pen and paper – is all up to you. The goal is to record family history in the making and preserve the story for generations to come.
We feel the best conversations happen organically, but we also realize that they may be challenging to get started. StoryCorps has compiled a list of great questions to get the discussion off the ground. Below are a few questions that you can ask just about anyone:
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
- What are you proudest of?
- How has your life been different than what you’d imagine?
- Is there anything that you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?
With the holiday season quickly approaching, it can be easy to become inundated with all of the additional items added to your To-Do List and forget about what’s most important, being together. We promise that we won’t hold it against you if you choose to get your shopping done on Black Friday, but we’d encourage you to set aside time in the upcoming weeks to have a meaningful conversation with someone you hold dear. Don’t forget to record the moment – we know your future self will thank you.
Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving,