Thursday, April 22, 2010

Neat idea for Mother's Day

I'm no fan of fabricated events. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, etc. make me shake my head. Such a performance is made over a single day. Heaven forbid someone forgets to send cards or flowers. All of a sudden, this lack means that you aren't loved. I read Facebook and email lists on these days and wonder how a single Hallmark holiday can take on such importance. To me, it's the day-to-day living that shows love and respect. We shouldn't need a special day to show this, especially if our year-round actions don't say this.

That said, StoryCorps has launched a book, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, in time for Mother's Day that really appeals to me.
In Mom, Dave Isay, StoryCorps founder and editor of the bestselling book, Listening Is an Act of Love, presents a celebration of American mothers from all walks of life and experiences. Selected from StoryCorps’ extensive archive of interviews, Mom presents the wisdom that has been passed from mothers to their children in StoryCorps’ recording booths across the country.

This book doesn't harp on the actions of a single day, instead it shows how mothers throughout the country and decades have inspired their children through their longterm acts of love.

You can read interviews such as this one between Jerry Johnson and his mother Carrie Conley who raised 6 children as a single mother.

StoryCorps is offering a a free gift card to add to the book (if you buy it, that is) to truly give the gift of listening. The card entitles you to record an interview between you and your mother, inspired by the StoryCorps interviews in the book. The simple act of interviewing a loved one is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give and a wonderful way to show someone you care.

I think this is a really neat Mother's Day gift.

I'm fascinated by StoryCorps.
StoryCorps is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, over 50,000 everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages. The heart of StoryCorps is the conversation 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. By helping people to connect, and to talk about the questions that matter, the StoryCorps experience is powerful and sometimes even life-changing.

I love the idea of setting Ben and Shira a project to interview family members for posterity. I tried to have them do this two years ago but they were still too young. I think now is the time to float this idea again. They have such diverse stories in their heritage, ones that deserve to be remembered.

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