When I interview people for articles I am writing, I always end up with way more good things I want to share with the world than will fit in my allotted space.
I love hearing people’s stories. I wrote over here about the privilege it is to have someone offer up their time and experiences with me. I find myself connecting with them over particular elements of their work or life journey and I always end up following a rabbit trail into questions about those things.
As humans we long to connect with one another. We want to know people and we want to be known by people.
When I hear a good story it inspires me to share more of my own story.
I’m not always in the midst of interviewing and transcribing, so when I’m craving stories I have a few places I turn to. I switch these on while I eat a snack, or do the dishes, or go on a walk. They help my mind relax and invite me toward more empathy and understanding of the vast expression of life going on all around me all the time of which I am not always aware.
Here is a list of some of my favorite places to visit for stories:
This American Life – https://www.thisamericanlife.org
Often when I’m scrolling through This American Life episodes and reading titles and descriptions I think “I won’t be interested in that.” BUT I click through and listen anyway and have yet to be disappointed. Even if a topic doesn’t sound like something I’m super into, the way the hosts craft stories and weave together interviews around a topic is masterful. I am often stretched outside of my comfort zone and leave a listening session with stories seared on my brain that I find my mind wandering back to months later. Want to expand your understanding of your neighbors nearby and around the country? This is the one for you.
Host Ira Glass offers this list of episodes to start with if you’re new to the show:
I wrote a whole post about one episode, you can read (and find a link to listen) here.
The Great Big Story – https://www.greatbigstory.com
This is a fun one that my husband introduced me to a few months ago. There are a ton of playlists to look through and a lot of the videos are just a few minutes long. Perfect for a brain break at work or in the midst of a busy day. Topics are all over the board, but I find myself drawn to stories about people and their communities, people creating things with their hands, and stories focusing on food.
Here is a story I watched most recently:
Story Corps – https://storycorps.org
I often consume Story Corps stories while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. Along with their extensive library of content on their website, they also create short animated videos that bring to life the context conversations are taking place in.
Here’s a conversation with the founder as he shares the story behind the stories:
I’ve only tapped the surface in their library, but I love their mission, “to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”
If you’re interested in meaningful conversations shared between people, StoryCorps is for you.
Those are a few of my favorite places to go for story time…where do you like to listen to stories? I’m always looking to add to my list!