Friday, February 20, 2009

It Got 'Em Through The Depression....

"Don't underestimate the power of storytelling. It got folks through the Depression. It can work now, too."
- Ann Banks

A powerful statement and true. I consider myself "young" but I have heard my share of "Depression Stories".

I remember sitting on my Grandme's porch during the summer nights or around the dinner table at holidays and such and listened to her stories of survival, hope, family, and simplicity. At the time I didn't know how powerful they were, but as I've grown up and started a family of my own, I now see them as a treasure. My other grandma told me many stories as well, and I always remembered her telling me about how hard they worked, how happy they were, and how much they loved each other during the Depression. Both of them told me how their families would gather around together and tell stories. Because that's all they had.

Families had nothing....but each other. They learned from each other. They were humble. Teachable. They continued on through horrific circumstances and still managed to prevail. And they had stories. Stories were free. Stories would give them permission to continue to dream, escape, and remember. Stories were their connection to the past, future, and present. Stories were a lifeline between generations.

I can't even imagine the pain and horrible living conditions many lived day in and day out during the Depression....but what I'm intrigued by is how they made the most of it with NOTHING. Many became strong, closer, and loved more. And stories helped get them through it. When they were though it, stories helped them teach. And as the years went on their stories gave strength and connection.

Listen to stories and tell stories. Listen and learn from those who lived it. Tell stories now to give your family something to hold on to. Even though the world may be shaking and crumbling outside our front door, we don't have to allow it to bring our families down. Story is a gift we can give to our children and it's real piece of us that they can hold on to...and it costs nothing.

To read Ann Bank's article "Storytelling in Tough Economic Times" Click here.

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Mammatalk said...

Fabulous. So true!

Debbie said...

I think we all need to learn more about that time and how folks managed to get through it. We will need their experiences, I am afraid.

NJDecorator said...

That's why I love to listen to my 85 year old FIL talk about growing up. For example he will never wear jeans because they were "poor" clothes when he was younger.

Thanks for visiting me on my SITS day - much appreciated!

Coachdad said...

Great post... I love hearing and telling stories. They do help with depression, help you realize that you are not alone or the first to go through it.