Take advantage of the time you have during spring and COVID-19 to begin to write stories from your life.
We are all in the process of formation. Each day we give and receive. This formation process contributes cumulative wisdom that we pass from generation to generation. One generation alone cannot account for carrying on the spirit of the family or an organization. Storytelling, writing memoirs or “tradition bearers” can inspire the reader. The writer or the teller of the story contributes to the individual’s or the organization’s history and to one’s own self.
Recently we were talking with our grandson who is in middle school. When we asked him what his favorite classes are in middle school, he mentioned his class on memoirs. He told us that the students were reading a memoir and were going to write a story of their own. My husband and I had finished writing our memoirs last year and our grandson shared them with his teachers. It surprised us that he would like a class on memoirs and that he liked it so much that he shared our stories.
I decided to contact his teacher to ask her about the curriculum she was using. She said, “Reading memoirs and then writing a memoir of their own helps our eighth graders learn to love to read and write.” She has taught language arts for twenty years. “Memoirs,” she says, “don’t go into someone’s whole life story and state the facts as an autobiography does, but instead, they concentrate on an event that was important to the author. The students connect with memoirs because they usually focus on a theme or subject. They can empathize with the character and learn valuable lessons. The story or memoir usually doesn’t follow a plot diagram or a formal written pattern like a novel.”
Laura Conklin, the teacher, said that it is wonderful for the seniors to share their stories especially with the younger generations. Our youth need to know what it was like back in the “olden” days and the struggles and triumphs during earlier times. She said children today could learn valuable life lessons from previous generations. In times like those we are experiencing now it would be helpful for us to share our stories including the difficult and the wonderful days.
So why should you write a story or memoir? It can provide cumulative wisdom from our generation to the next generations. It can enrich the lives of those who read stories and can be a proud achievement for the writer. That tells it all.
Contributed by: Rosemary Hume
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