(This post was originally published on SmallBizMKE.com).
For a number of reasons, this is an era like no other. In the past, tumultuous times united people behind a single purpose and inspired moments of greatness. Hope could be held for a better future. Not so today. During these fractured, strained and rancorous times, most people are unable or are reluctant to coalesce around mindful solutions which could serve the greater good. Instead, we hear or say ourselves, “Well, we all have to find our own way of coping.” Then we part ways and wonder what crises wait for all of us the following day. It’s a lonely way to live.
On a purely individual basis, there are small things we can do to help alleviate our stress, make some sense out of the perpetual craziness and connect our current situation to the past and future, thereby making ourselves feel less isolated. One way is to give voice to our own lives.
Anecdotes, photos, scrapbooks, audio tapes, degrees, challenges, awards, holiday cards, mementos, memories, advice, family history, videos, invitations, suggestions, hopes, heartaches, recommendations, medals, losses, accomplishments, journals, diaries, wins. Every life collects such a goldmine, but most people just sit on them. And then keep it all to themselves. Hardly a glimmer is shown.
Right now might be the time for us to speak up and share. The more we know about one another, the stronger our connections, the better we see our past and present journey, the more we appreciate what we’ve been given, and the greater the resources we can provide for others. There’s much more to gain, as well, but you’ll discover them only by telling your individual stories.
Especially with the technology now available, there’s a growing number of small businesses to help you do just that. We featured one of them in the past; today we’re showcasing another—Legacy Moments Last Forever. Nancy Olsen is its founder. Her specialty is videotaping peoples’ stories.
Have you ever missed someone so much that just hearing their voice mail message takes away some of the loneliness? Nancy recognizes the impact of audio and video, as well as the reluctance on the part of some who don’t like to see themselves on screen. Start with audio, Nancy suggests. Start this holiday season.
Using whatever device you’re comfortable with (most people choose their smartphones), record what you’re thinking, feeling, and doing. Make it brief, if you’d like. Next, try recording family members. With most people hunkering down due to the pandemic, record them by phone. If you’re “Zooming,” it’s easy to record the audio and, of course, the video.
This year’s end will be unlike any we’ve experienced before, and it should be fascinating to hear how we’ve all marked the season. It will be a mixed bag, there’s no doubt about it. But it’ll be full of memories and stories we don’t want to lose.
While I’m a writer myself and have interviewed hundreds of people over the years, it’s been incredibly difficult to get the elders in my family to record our collective story. Either the time isn’t right, or one photo leads to another and all too soon we end up completely overwhelmed, or family members have very different opinions and methods on the best way to proceed, or, recognizing that a professional might be just the thing, cost comes into play.
Nancy shared this with me:
While giving a Legacy Moments Last Forever presentation at a nursing home, an administrator told Nancy she once saw boxes full of photos dumped in the trash behind the facility. The administrator called the family to verify that the photos really were meant to be disposed of. Yes, was the answer, because no one knew who all those people were.
Nancy has answers for the many questions she receives from potential clients. She also has the tools, the expertise, and a 5-step plan to help them tell their stories. It all begins easily enough with a consultation.
With an expert to guide you, a plan in hand, momentous times to share, and a holiday season unlike any other, now is the time to become your family’s storyteller. Start small, if you’d like, and do what Nancy does—record your Christmas/New Year’s letter.
For a little motivation and inspiration, attend one of her webinars.
Share your legacy. Now. If you don’t, who will? When?
Legacy Moments Last Forever Mission Statement: A world where grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads live on through video so that when their children and grandchildren are ready to open it, they receive the greatest gift of all, a living legacy.