Editors’ Blog

Tell Stories Till You Drop: NPR’s “National Day of Listening”

Friday, November 28th, 2008

By Larry Smith

“We’ve known each other for 20 years … yet we don’t really know each other. That’s sort of stupid when you think about it,” says Frank Deford to Jenni Lipa, his travel agent in an example of NPR’s National Day of Listening, perhaps the perfect antidote to Black Friday. The project comes from the folks behind StoryCorps and is all about the simple act of asking questions and telling stories—something that comes more naturally to humans than many of us realize. Here’s how it’s explained in public radio-speak: “This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives—it could be your grandmother, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood. By listening to their stories, you will be telling them that they matter and they won’t ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year.” A downloadable DIY guide gets you started (so you don’t have to find your way to a StoryCorps booth, which is an incredible thing to do, but not feasible for most of us). Who’s the person you know but don’t really know? Might be your mailman; maybe it’s your mother. This season, as the Smith’s once sang, is a great time to ask…

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One response

  1. Amy says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thank you so much for spreading the word about the National Day of Listening! Hearing such reactions to our project and stories means so much to the organization.

    After the overwhelming response to the National Day of Listening, we are hoping to pass on a new holiday idea: For everyone who did an interview surrounding the National Day of Listening (or are thinking about recording a loved one), making a copy of it and pairing it with a paperback copy of our book, “Listening is an Act of Love,” provides a meaningful touch to the holiday season, and gives that special someone even more incredible stories to read! The book as well as more DIY recording tips can be linked to at http://www.storycorps.net.
    Thanks again and best wishes for the New Year!

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