A Gift that Gives Forever

30 November 2015

This Thanksgiving holiday inspired me to share with you something very simple that you can do today, or any day, with whomever you spend any amount of time.

During this time especially, many of us get together with those that mean something to us—even if the relationship is not always an easy one.  We get together to eat and talk and spend time together and reflect a little about what it is we are most grateful for.  Why not spend a little extra time getting to know each other just a little bit better?

All it takes is a little respect, some courage, and a big listening ear.

Ask a few simple questions like: “What are you most proud of?”  “Is there a moment in your life that significantly changed you?” Or any question that pops to mind.  Then just listen.

Really listen.  Simply listen.  Then ask another question as long as they will answer.

People love to be heard.  It places them in time and makes them feel as though they truly exist.  And of course it does create a certain bond between the speaker and the listener.  But, doing this also brings alive the power of story telling, especially oral story telling, which is really one of the most engaging activities you can do with a young child.

If you like this idea, then try one more step: recording the stories you hear.  I’ll explain:

This idea is based on an award winning project started by Dave Isay called “StoryCore.” He began by interviewing his family as a young boy, but grew up never losing curiosity about the lives behind the people that he encountered.  Even if they were people he sat next to on the bus.  So he began a project not just to interview and listen, but to record—most notably in a booth placed in Grand Central Terminal in New York City. You can read more about his story here: https://storycorps.org/about/.

If truly interested, interviews can be guided through this website and last ~40 minutes.  They are then archived in a “grand central station” at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  Stored forever.  Accessible to you or anyone at any time, now and into the future.

Try it now, try it later.  Try it with your children. It could be the best gift you give someone this holiday season.


Company Info


Our mission is to serve an economically diverse community and
to provide high quality Montessori learning environments that meet
the developmental needs
of the whole child.

Mayflower Early Childhood Center

106 East Diamond Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Tel: 612-825-5914


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