If you’re a regular listener to NPR’s Morning Edition, you know that Friday morning means an installment from StoryCorps.
During the 18 years since its founding, this oral history project has taped more than half a million Americans telling their stories. It’s the largest single collection of human voices ever recorded, and it has one simple goal.
“What if we just give the entire country the chance to be listened to and have a chance to talk about, you know, who they are?” explains StoryCorps founder Dave Isay. He adds that being told that all of our stories matter equally and infinitely is something everyone needs to hear.
While StoryCorp interviews involve people who know each other, the interviews in Isay’s new initiative—One Small Step—match strangers from across the political divide. In both programs, the central aim is to encourage people to listen to one another.
Studies show that on the average people only remember a fraction of what is said to them. So what is it that makes listening such a challenge?