“Listening is an act of love,” according to Dave Isay, founder of the StoryCorps project.
When a person speaks, they are conveying information: about themselves, about what’s important to them, about what makes them spark. The way a person tells a story — their inflections, their pacing – infuses the story with emotion and makes it even more powerful. Prior to the written word, people related historical events verbally. Those stories were passed along, and so on.
Now, of course, we have the ability to record historical events through written language and when we read about those events, we have an expectation that the writer is conveying unbiased truth. We want the “real” story. However, the relevance of historical events is measured by the impact those events have on the people causing them, or witnessing them, or experiencing them. Perspective encourages empathy. That’s why people’s personal stories still carry so much weight.
In conjunction with the writing of a new local history book, we are asking people to tell us their own stories, in their own words. We will include some of these stories with the new book on compact discs. All of them will be archived for others to hear. We have four telephone numbers you can call to leave us a message with your three minute story of living or working in Norridge or Harwood Heights. Did something fun or scary happen when you went trick or treating one year? Tell us about it. Do you remember when there were fewer buildings and more open space? We want to hear about it. Was your holiday season incomplete without buckets of cookies from Maurice Lenell? You are not alone, and others are waiting to be drawn back to those times with you.
Your stories are important. They helped shape our community. We want to hear from you.