I have always loved listening to people's stories about their lives. I used to sit at my grandma's kitchen table as a child and listen to her tell me about her own childhood. Sitting on the edge of my seat, I would savor every moment while she shared little details about the color of a favorite dress, or the names of her friends (Grace, Celeste, Merytl were popular in the 1930s. She would be chopping vegetables or setting the table, letting her mind wander around, while her hands stayed busy. My love of hearing about people's lives turned into a career. Listening is a powerful way to connect with someone, and I am lucky to be able to do what I do.
You may be familiar with Story Corps, an independent organization that travels around the U.S. recording real life stories, started in 2003. It's mission is "to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world." Periodically I look at their website, watch a few stories, usually the stories make me laugh or cry or both. This morning I came across a story about an older couple who shared how they worked together and supported one another. It's a story about persevering and being vulnerable and the power of relationships. We could learn a lot from Larry and Eileen.