"Listening to people reminds them that their lives matter."
In the middle of a
conversation a friend once
stopped me and said, "Tell me back everything I just told you." I
couldn't. Not long after, he passed away, which made the lesson especially poignant. Most of us don't spend enough time really listening.
Now, as a therapist, I listen to stories professionally. Today, on the National Day of Listening, everyone is supposed to share stories. David Isay, founder of StoryCorps -- a Macarthur Genuis and an unwavering idealist -- also founded National Day of
Listening because "every life matters equally, every voice matters equally, every story matters equally."
The project recalls Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration, to democratize oral history and create an archive of American voices. Since beginning in 2003, StoryCorps has recorded over 30,000 interviews from over 60,000 participants. In an interview David Isay said, "Listening to people reminds them that their lives matter."
The idea is simple: on the day after Thanksgiving family and friends often still gather together. The goal is to sit down for ten to twenty minutes with a loved one and really listen to their story.