What is storytelling?
"Once upon a time... people told tales to each other. Sharing real-life stories was an essential element in forging friendships, alliances, families and communities. It brought individuals a greater intimacy with each other and, simultaneously, a stronger sense of self."
- jack maguire
It doesn’t have to be “once upon a time” it can be today. Storytelling can connect generations and get your family talking.
Since people began to communicate with each other, "Tell me a story" has been a familiar plea.
Storytelling is one person telling others about anything real (or even made up) and is often a part of our everyday conversations.
Traditionally though, stories were passed from one generation to another by memory. But with written media, this became less important. So about 30 years ago, a group of people, got together to celebrate storytelling in that ancient, oral tradition – they held a storytelling festival. The result is a renaissance of storytelling that has swept the nation.
Who is storytelling for?
Teachers, healthcare workers, therapists, corporate executives, librarians, spiritual leaders, parents, children and many others inspired by this renaissance of storytelling, are turning to storytelling to produce positive change in our world; to let each other know who we are, what we care about, where we come from, and where we are going.
To regain our footing and give us roots; storytelling can ensure that a family is more than a bunch of people living in the same house, sharing the same food, and having conversations mainly about mundane things. Developing a tradition of storytelling can reconnect us and turn parents’ hearts to their children and the children’s hearts toward the parents, and give us all a stronger sense of self.
(Photo credit: Anne Metcalf)
A few weeks before RootsTech, I was talking with my sisters about the RootsTech conference and once again, inviting them to attend with me. Going on seven years now, one has, two haven’t. But this time, one of the two surprised me - accepting the invitation, she said, “I’d really like to come and see what all the fuss is about.”
So what is all the fuss about? How does a GENEALOGY conference in Salt Lake City, Utah become a top five trending topic on Twitter? Because…. it’s about so much MORE than GENEALOGY!
If you’re interested in getting started with your family history, rootstech2016 is for you. If you’re a seasoned researcher who is looking for the latest advancements, rootstech2016 is for you. If you love your family and want to know how to create a tighter bond within your clan, rootstech2016 is for you.
It’s no secret we love family and heritage, tradition, and family storytelling. We believe the sweetest sound this side of heaven is the sound of family voices mingled in laughter and story. That’s why we’re thrilled to be a part of rootstech2016, the world’s largest family history conference!
If you’re interested in getting started with your family history, rootstech2016 is for you. If you’re a seasoned researcher who is looking for the latest advancements, rootstech2016 is for you. If you love your family and want to know how to create a tighter bond within your clan, rootstech2016 is for you. Basically, there’s something for all levels of experience and interest and we hope to see you there.
In truth, I thought she was a borderline hoarder. The first time my mother-in-law showed me her basement I was definitely not impressed. Her eyes shone with the passion of a treasure keeper. All I saw were scraps, mountains and mountains of scraps.
“Every step towards your dream today is a step away from your regret tomorrow.”
Dr. Steve Maraboli
We moved into our home twelve years ago. We moved to give our kids a fresh start. We moved because we knew it was the right thing to do. We left behind a fully finished home we loved for a home in our desired area with an unfinished basement. I was confident in the sacrifice because I was confident we were going where we were supposed to be.
Grandma said goodbye too young. Through my 12-year old eyes, she'd lived a long life when I said goodbye to her. But old and young are relative. Now that I'm, well, not 12 anymore, I realize 67 was too young. Grandma was vigilant about taking care of her diabetes. I remember purses and pockets full of sugar free candies that tasted just as sweet to me as any candy I'd ever had. Probably because it was slipped to me by her soft hands. Occasionally, she would let me sip from her favorite sugar-free drink – Tab. I remember several times a day she would go to the refrigerator and take out her small bottle of insulin. She would roll it in her hands to warm it up. The little glass bottle would make a clicking noise as it rolled past the rings on her fingers. I loved that sound. It was the sound of Grandma taking care of herself. I still think of her when I roll something in my hands and hear that same clicking noise. Even though the disease made us say goodbye when grandma was much too young, my 12 years with her have provided me a lifetime of beautiful memories. I've lived knowing that young and old are relative, and in honor of my grandma, have tried to make the most of whatever years I have.
In his child imagination he believed if he hammered on the wood hard enough it would become whatever he imagined. He wanted it to become an airplane. So he started hammering, hard.
When I asked my most recent group of fifth grade students how they feel now about the people they interviewed the responses took my breath away.
“I feel so much closer to my Dad now.”
“I don’t just see an old man, I try to picture what it would have been like to play with him. I didn’t know he’d done so many cool things.”
So should we say, “Thank you for everything?” even the difficult, the painful, the unexpected, and the hard? Well, based on the little comedy sketch, it is certainly possible. We’ve been playing with this concept around here of late and it’s opened our eyes to some unseen blessings. Even in the hardest of trial we have found good. And surprisingly, even in the highest of joys we can still find bad.
The cub scouts surrounded me the moment I walked in the door. Talking over one another like giddy hens they couldn’t wait to tell me everything they’d learned.
Did you know that people actually enjoy talking about themselves? You may not believe me, but it’s true. More often than not, when a person is sitting silently while surrounded by others it’s frequently because they don’t believe they’ll be heard. It’s not that they have nothing to say, it’s that they are afraid what they say may not be greeted with listening ears.
Emotions stirred within me I wasn’t expecting, or prepared for. Nostalgia; a longing I hadn’t felt for years. Not a longing for a childhood past, rather an ache for the grandpa’s I never knew.
The pace was steady. An artist’s work would be held up for all to see. The artist would describe their medium or technique then the bidding would start. Each description was pretty average. These were visual artists and they were comfortable letting the piece speak for itself. That all changed when...
Every family needs to know and share their own unique collection of story. It’s essential to family happiness.
Most of those millions of emigrants were desperate people heading into the unknown searching for better luck, and more food. They knew life could be tough, but they knew how to persevere. They were plucky - you can’t keep a good Irishman down.