The most common reason for gathering family stories is that if we don’t, we will lose them. How many of us have wished that we had an audio or video recording of our parents or grandparents, but it was too late? Now is the time to collect the stories of your loved ones, while they are healthy and memories are clear. You’ll be glad you did, and your family will thank you! You will have peace of mind knowing that you have honored your family elders and captured their wisdom for many generations to come.
You are never too young to start a personal history for your family. For the younger generations now is the time to collect the stories of your parents and grandparents. It is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to your children. If you are a grandparent yourself, the younger generations will treasure knowing about your experiences and the wisdom you’ve gained over a lifetime.
Here are just a few reasons, regardless of your age, for creating a personal history:
- To be remembered. Telling your story in your own words will ensure that your children and grandchildren know who you are and what inspires you. If you are curious about your grandparents, there’s a good chance your grandkids will be curious about you.
- To share a wonderful life adventure. Celebrate the great moments of your life. Your stories will inspire those closest to you to celebrate their own lives.
- To better understand yourself. An inscription carved into the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece, reads: “Know Thyself.” Stories are the threads in the fabric of a family’s history. They explain why you are the person you are. As you recall your life stories, you’ll gain greater insight into the person you have become.
- To have fun. Reliving a particularly significant or enjoyable part of your life is a great activity. Recent academic studies have shown that the act of reviewing one’s life can bring a sense of accomplishment, joy, and peace of mind.
- To help family and friends. By sharing a story of how you overcame personal, financial, professional, spiritual, or other challenges can help others overcome their own difficulties. When elders share their wisdom and experiences, younger generations learn about surviving—and thriving—in difficult times. Who better to teach these lessons than a family member?