James writes, “let every man be swift to hear” (1:19). Five years ago StoryCorps launched what has become the largest oral history project in the world. Their mission is to “honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.” This Friday, November 28, 2008, has been declared by StoryCorps the first National Day of Listening.
The idea is to record and interview someone about his or her life. StoryCorp even has a place for you to upload clips of your interview for others to hear.
This is a great idea for people of all ages, but especially for children and grandchildren. In our times of family worship we recently started reading through Ecclesiastes. I was struck by 2:16 which says, “For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten.”
Oral histories will not prevent this from happening completely, but they can provide wonderful ways for stories to be passed down from one generation to another. For Christians, the stories of God’s grace in our lives may prove to be encouragement for our children and our children’s children to “set their hope in God” (Ps. 78:7).
Check out StoryCorps. They have helpful tools that can assist you in recording the stories of someone you love and respect.