A valuable gift every senior carries—that absolutely must be given away, especially to our families — is our story.
The following generations need to hear our story. Not only do they need to hear it, we need to tell it. There is a wonderful healing that happens when we are invited by interested listeners to take all the time we need to share where we’ve been, what we’ve seen, known, experienced, and how we see God in all of it, too.
While at the Crystal Cathedral, I nudged story-telling into a variety of classes as part of the process. Fresh New Hope Telephone Counselors were put through 7 weeks of training, 2-1/2 hours a week. The last 1-1/2 hours of every session was devoted to listening to each other’s story. The training itself was excellent and inspiring. But almost all who participated cited that telling their story as the highlight.
People are longing to be known. And even though people may have worked together on councils, committees, or teams for decades, they find that they do not know each other’s stories.
When we tell our stories to our children, they gain:
Insights into who we are (identity).What values we’ve inherited.What things are important.How God uses the ‘stuff’ of everyday life.
So . . . I'm suggesting two things to you:
1. Share your own story. Go ahead, talk about yourself. There are people who would like to hear about you.
2. Get others to tell their stories. When older folks tell their stories, they come alive again. They gain a sense of completion. Sometimes telling resolves old conflicts. Endearment emerges as we see each other as persons.