Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 121- StoryCorps and Palm Sunday

I was growing up in a very important way around this time last year.  I had a large project due to complete as part of my teaching certification.  I had to create a monster portfolio to basically tell the story of what my beliefs about education are and what I had done so far in the classroom.  I was actually responsible and spent a great deal of time putting it together.  For once, I did not save something until the last minute, and I took the time to do it right.  I bragged about my own productivity.  I'm getting a whole lot better about that and about managing my time.

It meant a lot to me to be able to tell my story through that portfolio.  It means a lot to me to be able to use this blog as an outlet and to tell my story in a different kind of way, a way where maybe people I don't come into contact with every day can "listen" to my story.  This all lead me to the discovery of an awesome charity that is definitely deserving of my donation today.

I've always believed that if you listen long enough to people, you'll end up seeing their hearts.  Everyone has a story to tell, and most people seem to be just looking for someone who will listen.  Because I have not learned how to politely excuse myself from conversations, or maybe just because I feel bad if I do, I often find myself on the listening end of these conversations.  This runs in my family.  I once stood in the pet aisle of a store for twenty minutes listening to stories about a woman's cat.  Tom excused himself, got all of our shopping done, and came back to drag me away.  He asked me why I didn't just peel myself away, and I wondered the same thing myself.  I think what it boils down to is that if someone needs to talk so much that they will corner me in an aisle at a store, then I might as well listen.  It all goes back to that idea of everyone having a story.

That's the idea that StoryCorps revolves around.  Here's what they do:

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

In the coming years we will build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.

"Every voice matters," they say.  I agree!

http://storycorps.org/

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I often hear criticisms of Catholicism that focus on the rituals and traditions as bad things.  I understand that it all may seem a bit odd to someone who did not grow up in the religion.  However, it's what I know.  I like it for many of the reasons that others think it's weird. 

Palm Sunday meant spending an extra thirty minutes at church this morning, which was okay with me.  I enjoyed reading the Passion of the Lord.  It was like having a little church play with multiple characters and lines.  When we walked in, we got our palms, and this gave Tom something to keep his hands busy for the rest of mass.  He wove his into a little cross, and I'm going to put it on our bookshelf.  No joke.  I enjoyed the sign of peace, as I always do.  I wish we could do this in our real lives more.  I often thing about giving that a try outside of church.  The little girls who often sit in front of us were adorable as ever.  They were even wearing little cowboy boots this morning.  How cute is that?  The lady in front of us sang in an amusing yet good kind of way.  It was just an all-around lovely service.

Thank you, Palm Sunday, you made my day. 

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