One of my favorite TED talks is called “Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear” by Dave Isay. The founder of StoryCorps breaks down the meaning of his non-profit organization whose mission is “to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives” by sharing stories that he both discovered and created.

The talk includes several interview style vignettes that feature two people talking to each other. As the pairings ask each other questions, we are able to look back on their lives with them and feel what they have learned from their experiences. The seemingly simple exchanges are truly earnest interactions.

The first time I saw this talk, I found myself being pulled in by each and every one of the stories. I found that I could connect to the stories and the people behind them despite having never lived through much of what is mentioned. Isay’s ability to communicate the importance of empathy through storytelling transcends anything that I had ever learned about forgiveness and gratitude before. It’s a must watch! Trust me.

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My TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool class was challenged to participate in #TheGreatListen 2015 this past Thanksgiving break. Class members interviewed family members, friends, neighbors, and more in order to not only collect stories for StoryCorps, but to save valuable memories as well. If you would like to interview someone and upload your story to “help create an archive of the wisdom of humanity,” download the StoryCorps app which is available on the App Store and on Google Play.

-Kate Bjorklund

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