Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
I guess people have always poured their hearts out to anyone that will listen, but is the internet making it more dangerous? I was raised in a small town where everyone knew everyone. The beginning of my career revolved around helping small businesses thrive. Later, as the world begin to change, I began to sometimes wonder if I still live in the same country that I grew up in. I watched things happen to others in my community and most often I was always fighting my own battles when it happened. “Hearts and Minds” a little voice inside my head would say and then go away. Years went by and I continued to see things changing and people suffering and sometimes that little voice would come back and say “Hearts and Minds”. Finally, something happened that was so unbelievable and so indescribable that I felt like I had to do something to make a difference. My life had changed forever. Life changed and that little voice became stronger. There was no going back to the care-free life that I lived silently, and for the most part privately. I decided that I had to do something.
I knew I was not strong enough to change the way the world works by myself. I knew I didn’t have the skills that I needed. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and there were no words to accurately describe what I saw. Through high school and college I was a great writer! I won awards because of my writing skills. So why couldn’t I write about what was going on? Why couldn’t I put it on paper and make it make sense to others like I was used to doing? It was complicated, and complex. I could have written a book, or made a film series. I could have got on YouTube and just started putting it all out there like others do. But I didn’t like the way that some “advocates” put stories on YouTube and Facebook. They were impersonal and uncaring although the desperate people that were pouring their hearts out to the audience really needed help and someone to listen and care. Someone that could do something, change things.
I have seen some things that happened to people that just didn’t make any sense, and it certainly didn’t do anyone any good. If anything, most of what I saw happening hurt people. And it did not just hurt the individuals that were intended to be hurt or punished. Other people were also affected. Children and family members feel the ripple effects of other’s actions. Anytime someone sets out to hurt someone that is what happens. The end result will always be hurt and so few people will take a stand against anyone or anything when it doesn’t affect them personally.
But it can happen to them. Their lives can change in an instant just like other lives have changed in an instance. Sometimes overnight. I am still learning. I will always be learning new things about people and life. I am using this blog to write about some of the experiences I have had, both my own and others and some of the things I research to learn more about. I hope I receive feedback and meet a lot of people like me that want to make a difference. People that connect the dots and intersections in life’s circumstances and look for solutions. The world needs more problem solvers. The world needs people that care.
My friend, Mary Ellen called this morning with what she thinks might be a solution. She found an app that lets people put their stories in the Library of Congress. She sent a message, “Do you have a family member of close friend who you would like to interview? Did they live through a pivotal time in history? Do they have childhood stories or family traditions that you would like to preserve for future generations? We will be offering you the opportunity to conduct those interviews during the Keg County Heritage Day on September 18 from 9:30 – 6:30 in the Historical Society. We will have prewritten questions to choose from or you can write your own. The interview will be recorded using the Story Corp app. You will be sent a copy of the interview and a copy will be downloaded to the Library of Congress so future generations can watch it. For more info call Mandy at (931) 729-5300.” Mary Ellen then asked, “What about us getting families to do this using this app and adding it to the Library of Congress files???????”
So then I had to find out what she was talking about. I called Mandy and found out that she works at the Hickman County, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and that they are having a heritage event Saturday, September 18, 2021. “The Keg County Heritage Day will be an event that will inspire community engaged activities that embrace local heritage. Multifaceted collaborators will be coming together to celebrate history, culture, art, artisans, dance, crafts, and games.”
Then, I had to check out the Story Corp app that Mary Ellen sent because I felt like this can be the solution that we have been looking for for years! “StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world… StoryCorps gives people of all backgrounds, typically two at a time, the opportunity to record meaningful conversations and archive the recordings at the Library of Congress. Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you choose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites to share a 40-minute conversation.” So my next step is to invite Mary Ellen to tell me her story and find out how it goes. Watch for updates…………
Well. Hmmm….UPDATE 1 is not so good. After finding the app and downloading it, I decided to read their terms and conditions and there is one HUGE problem with the app. Story Corps makes participants agree to letting them own their story and that is something I believe violates the rights of desperate people pouring their hearts out in an effort to be heard.
MindingHearts.com @ Hearts and Minds will never try to own your story. I do not believe that taking people’s stories into my own property will solve anything.
We may still find a way to get stories to Congress , and we may find those stories in the Library of Congress someday. But it will not be by giving ownership to anyone other than the person or person’s whose stories they are.
I have a contact page that can be used to reach me by email. Try to keep your story on a page or two because if we do get someone to look for it they will be more likely to look at a page or two than they will if your try to write a book. Keep as much documentation as you can ready though. You may need that stack of papers to back up something that the lawmakers or lawyers want to know more about. Let me know WHO you are, WHAT HAPPENED, WHERE did it happen, WHEN did it happen, HOW did it happen, WHY did it happen, and WHAT do you want from me, HOW can I help you? Also, I do sometimes make files where people can keep their important documents because not everyone has a computer. A better way to keep files though may be by using Google Docs and Google Sheets. You can get to them easily and from anyway that way and you don’t have to carry a lot of paperwork with you everywhere that you go. Let me know if you have any suggestions that can help change the world and make life better. Thanks
Minding Hearts @ Hearts and Minds will never do that!
“First they came . . .”
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
— Martin Niemöller