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StoryCorps: The Conversations of a Lifetime

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I always wondered how my life would play out on film-in a non-celebrity kind of way. I mean, I don’t want to sound self-absorbed, but wouldn’t you be interested in capturing your life story? Perhaps recalling moments with your loved ones, learning about your heritage or sharing lessons learned? I’ve often tried to keep a journal of life’s memorable moments, but sometimes fail to update it on a weekly basis as I’m sure some of you can relate to. However, when StoryCorps was presented to me recently (their animated shorts are my favourite, which are based on their best-loved radio stories), I discovered a glimmer of hope towards preserving what I’ve been hoping to capture all along!

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StoryCorps, is a non-profit organization with one mission: to give Americans the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. All too often we live our lives on the fast lane, too involved with the moment and the bustle of everyday. We usually don’t have time to reflect or look back at what we’ve accomplished and experienced as often as we hope to. It would be great if we all become authors and write about our life’s story and get it published and have it become one of New York Times’ Best Selling autobiographies. But not everyone has that talent or time. Yet most often, it’s the real stories of the Plain Janes that really connect with us, in which we really identify with and inspires us to live and do better. At the core of StoryCorps, they hope to preserve conversations between two people who are important to each other: a son asking his mother about her childhood, an immigrant telling his friend about coming to America, or a couple reminiscing on their 50th wedding anniversary. You can listen to the wealth of inspiring interviews and interesting questions posed here.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has been giving people in America the tools they need to interview a loved one or someone they know, just by asking them questions about their memories, lessons learned or their relationships with others. They encourage families and friends to create their own ‘memory archives’ to be kept and listened to down the road. If you choose to participate in the StoryCorps organized recordings, once an interview is complete, a CD copy is given to the participants involved in the clip, while another copy is kept in the archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for years to come.

It’s quite easy to get involved if this is something you wish to do. In 3 easy steps you can get your story recorded! Simply find their nearest location, prepare for the session, tell your story and share it with others! If you are unable to get to their locations, you can bring the StoryCorps idea to your communities. For those that don’t live in the United States you can still get involved by learning how to create your own videos through their DIY guide.

Not only are these recordings meaningful for those involved, but those who happen to watch them will have their spirits lifted too. By encouraging and helping people around the world connect with those around them, the StoryCorps experience is refreshingly life-changing and one that will be remembered. You can learn more about StoryCorps’ beginnings here. If you were going to give this idea a go, who would you want to strike up a conversation with and why?

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Comment
  • http://www.vidafine.com ben

    “Well… I was the one who made you a parent” from the second video. Totally didn't expect that comment LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/eugene.loo Eugene Loo

    This is awesome. Great find Ev! I wonder what my story will be….. ? It probably will involve food.