Everyday Healthy Listening

“Listening Is an Act of Love” proclaims the title of David Isay’s book about his founding of StoryCorps, popular radio and Youtube broadcasts. His book contains 49 of the 45,000 interviews taken since 2003 when StoryCorps was launched in an NYC Grand Central Station booth.

The theory is, “if we listen, we’ll find wisdom, wonder and poetry in the lives and stories of the people all around us.” The question is, are we listening? How much does our health depend on our ability to listen to the people around us?

The beauty of  Isay’s book lies in the diversity of people interviewed: people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. Isay’s book is a nugget that can help us figure out how to get along with the rest of our world family with a respect that keeps us all healthy.

Especially at this point in history when many of us actively look for answers for ourselves, our families and the future of our state and planet, we need wisdom that gives us healthy perspectives on possibilities for the future.

Studs Terkel called StoryCorps “celebrating the lives of the uncelebrated!” Each story represents an act of love and respect. People talk about happiest moments, favorite moments, their regrets, something they have never told but want to tell now, the kindest person in their life, their hurdles, and more.

The stories are not all pretty; many are poignant, some are hilarious, yet they all demonstrate the strength of human ingenuity, resilience, and respect for others as they are shared.

Given our world conflicts, climate change, political campaigning, food, water, and energy concerns, we would all do well to strengthen our listening skills.  The wide array of protests in the US alone attests to human needs to be heard, understood, and respected.

One clear sign of positive listening in NH was the NHSEC ( Site Evaluation Committee) May 19 decision to extend the Northern Pass final decision date for 21 months (September, 2017) so that the SEC has ample time to consider the exhaustive data to date (which includes many of our stories).

Our NH stories are as unique and important as the corporate stories bombarding us. Our health depends on our ability to continually come together as we share those stories.


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