The Stories That Bind Us

We recently happened upon a wonderful article in the New York Time’s “This Life” column by Bruce Feiler calledThe Stories That Bind Us. Mr. Feiler is the author of “The Secrets of Happy Families: How to Improve Your Morning, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smart, Go Out and Play, and Much More” and this fascinating article is full of wisdom, especially at a time when many of us are grappling with how to manage our lives in a way that strengthens our family connections. 

In his book, he examines what ingredients go into making some families effective, resilient and happy. After a lengthy search and countless interviews with scholars, families and experts – a must read -- he discovered the simplest answer: develop a strong family narrative. 

But how, we ask, when families are scattered across miles and we’ve become increasingly distracted by demanding jobs, school and commitments?  How do we capture these stories? How can we share? 

While technology doesn’t provide all of the answers, it certainly is making it easier than ever to capture and share meaningful stories. Apps like Instagram and VINE have popularized and encouraged us to develop our visual storytelling skills. SpeakingPhoto is another free app that is easy to use and takes capturing great moments a step further by combining the visual story of a photo with a recorded voice story. By narrating new and old photos, families add depth and real meaning to what will become the greatest gifts to give and receive this holiday. Here are easy suggestions how to use today:

  • Bring the family together and peruse old photos. Enjoy recording the stories & memories right onto the photo to save for seasons and generations to come. 
  • Make some new memories and save the joy and laughter on new photos. All of these great stories can easily be shared too. 
  • Family living far away? Someone overseas? In your own voice let them know you are thinking about them this season with a personal message of love recorded over a special photo and sent via text or email. 
  • Tell your larger community to have a Happy Holiday with a SpeakingPhoto on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter… it’s fun, unique and makes the photos you are posting much more meaningful!

The holidays are a perfect time to slow down and capture your family stories. Have a safe and happy holiday season. Share your stories! 

- Diana and Dawn

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