There were two presentations at RootsTech this weekend that I thought dovetailed into each other. The first was Bruce Feiler's keynote address on Thursday. His presentation was interesting and entertaining but for me, the heart of his ideas came toward the end when he spoke of integrating family stories into our everyday lives. Not just stories about the good, happy, easy times, but also stories about the hard times, the times of sorrow, the times when we or someone in our family overcame a challenge. I liked his ideas about how stories of our experiences help us create, and possibly direct, our memories.
I first "met" Bruce through a New York Times article a few years ago and, being strongly impressed, wrote the post, Good Reasons to Tell Family Stories. Here, below, you can watch all (or part) of his keynote address.
The other presentation that impressed me so strongly was David Isay's Friday keynote about StoryCorps. He tells what it is, how it came about, and showed several videos that were recorded at StoryCorps locations. Most impressive is that all the videos are being saved at the Library of Congress. Watch his address to learn more.
After listening to both presenters the thought that settles on my mind is that there are different kinds of stories we can tell about our own lives and/or the lives of our ancestors. Some are the big stories of our lives, stories about the major events, the monumental moments, the stories that will stay with us forever for having effected us so strongly. Other stories are of little events, brief interactions, tiny experiences from our lives, stories that, in one way or another, made us who we are.
I think both are important to record. (It matters not whether we have a receptive audience now: sometime someone will appreciate and perhaps take inspiration from our lives.)
Julie Goucher's Book of Me meme a few years ago was helpful because it offered prompt suggestions to record stories. But then a journal's a great way to record stories, too (which makes me ask myself why I'm not currently writing in a journal on a regular basis). When I was writing my own Book of Me posts one of my daughters commented that she liked those best of all my posts.
Our descendants will appreciate our stories, which can be powerful and provide insight into our personalities. Are you recording your own stories? Are you recording your unwritten ancestors' stories?
Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.