You
could say therapists are professional listeners. That doesn't mean we don't need to be
reminded to shut up and put our listening ears on, especially when it comes to our own families.
That's why I love that some clever person had this idea to
create a National Day of Listening.

The writer Studs Terkel practically invented oral histories. He listened to common folk, survivors of the Great Depression,
tell their stories.
He revealed the truth, that everyday people are the
true heroes of history, as much as generals or presidents. I wish I had had the forethought to record the fascinating stories my parents had to tell of their younger days, especially my mother who delighted in telling tales from her childhood.

National Public Radio is running a series of such conversations. Daniel Schorr, a commentator on Weekend Edition at the age of 93 still active, talks to his son about his fears and apprehensions as a young man.

Whether we record our conversations or not, I like the idea of listening to the adventures our elders experienced with no purpose other than to appreciate that they weren't always the older people we know. Once upon a time they were young, had dreams and ambitions, troubles to overcome and had no idea how it was all going to turn out.

One thing is for sure. It beats wrestling with the crowds at the mall.

via an originally published post Nov. 28, 2008