Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Transforming Your Experience of the World

You know those days when you leave the safety and comfort of your own home and head out to do something as simple as go grocery shopping and along the way you encounter aggressive drivers, unfriendly faces, people bored with their jobs, people caught up in their own challenges of the day?... How is it possible that I can go grocery shopping and possibly only talk to the checkout person to say "paper or plastic?" But, we all seem to have a million things going on and I have even found some people alarmed when I try to engage them in conversation at a store (granted I do live in New England). None the less, sometimes I am just as much at fault for this. However, there are those days or moments when I clear my head and live in the moment...take the opportunity to complement someone, connect with someone.

I remember one trip to the store when I was standing in front of the dairy case... looking for a certain item. A woman came up next to me and I made eye contact with her and just shared a friendly smile. I headed back to my cart to add my item to it and she hurried to catch up with me. She told me that she hoped I had a really nice day and that she wanted me to have something. She handed me a round pin with the American flag in the shape of an apple... I believe celebrating excellence in education. I took it and thanked her and wondered for a moment why on earth she had given me the pin when I realized it was because we had connected... no other reason. Giving a gift was her language...her way of telling me that and she gave me what she had. That moment was so rich that I still remember it all these years later.

Well, this leads me to this amazing excerpt from NPR that I heard Sunday night at church. The clip was from the NPR show Storycorps: Recording America... all stories recorded in a traveling sound studio visiting towns and cities throughout the country. This particular story was titled "A Victim Treats His Mugger Right"... told by Julio Diaz of New York City and his account of being mugged and the amazing story that unfolded. It is really worth the listen and really drives home the point that we can transform our own experience of the world.


lgaumond said...

I love love love Storycorps with all of my heart. I remember that one recording and I remember the shivers it gave me as I listened in the car.

I highly recommend the weekly podcast from iTunes and the CD of Storycorps favorites that NPR put out. My mom bought it for me last Christmas and even now, after listening to is thirty or so times, it still makes me laugh and cry.

Monica said...

This blog post made my day! Beautiful!!!

listenclose said...

Hi Karen,

I'm writing from StoryCorps to let you know we saw your blog post mentioning the StoryCorps interview with Julio Diaz. That story certainly helps put everyday trials in pespective.

I wanted to write to let you know about a new initiative we're launching this year that might also appeal to you and your readers. StoryCorps is asking the whole country to set aside one hour on Friday, November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving, to record a conversation with a friend or loved one. We're declaring this day the National Day of Listening. We launched a website (www.nationaldayoflistening.org) with more information and tips for a Do-it-Yourself style interview as well as a video walking through an interview scenario. Since so many Americans aren't able to make it to a StoryCorps recording booth, we're making it easier for everyone to share this experience in their own homes.

Again, thank you for writing about StoryCorps on your blog. Please share the idea of National Day of Listening and these Do-it-Yourself tools with your readers, family, and friends, helping us make the experience of listening as an act of love even more accessible.

Thank you again,