Just as many exciting ideas do, the concept of TheNeverEndingStories.org came to me while in the shower. I have always deeply valued the information my grandparents have shared with me over the years and I have been thinking about what a shame it is that only family and friends have access to this wisdom.
TheNeverEndingStories.org is an online platform created as a space for our elders to share the stories they have acquired over a lifetime. This site has started as a passion project but I hope to grow it into a non-profit outreach program targeted to the elderly community. I have created packets explaining what TheNeverEndingStories.org is and providing a space where they can write their stories and mail it into me to be featured on the site. I have been putting in the groundwork delivering these packets to organizations that have access to the elderly community such as nursing homes and Meals on Wheels.
As of right now the site is strictly informative and is being used as an avenue to get the word out about TheNeverEndingStories.org and its mission. All the stories on the site will be created equal. I want people to write in no matter how simple they feel they life they have lived is. Every story is significant and deserves to be heard.
Throughout graduate school while acquiring my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling I had been asked who I was most excited to work with and my answer was always with the elderly. My PawPaw has forever been an inspiration to me, teaching me the benefits of hard work and the significance of being a good person. The legacy he leaves behind will consist of all the stories he has shared with us and all the advice he has bestowed upon us over the years.
As humans, we are all trying to make it through life the best we can, unscathed and with a purpose. Who better to seek counsel from than those who have already lived most of it? Our elders have the answers we are looking for. What is life about? What is the meaning of all this? Will I regret in the future the things I’m doing or not doing? They know, they have lived it. And we can learn from them. There are certain things people can only learn from a long life lived and I believe that wisdom needs a place to shared. While counsel and stories from our elderly family members and loved ones undoubtedly guide us and provide us with much needed wisdom, our elders’ need to share and be heard is just as important, if not more so.
When people reach late adulthood they begin to reflect on their lives, what they have contributed to the world, and what they are leaving behind. This online platform is providing them a place to share the things they have learned throughout their lives and to enrich their legacy. With this platform, seniors will be able to contribute their advice and stories via email or letter. These stories will be posted and shared on this platform for the entire internet to see. Social isolation and the resulting loneliness is an epidemic for the elderly. 18% of seniors live alone, while 43 % report feeling lonely on a regular basis. I believe the older adult population is gravely underserved and in need of a platform to share their wisdom and to be heard, this could be it.
Please spread the word to your senior family and friends about the online platform that has been created for them. I would love for people to write into me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via snail-mail at The Never-Ending Stories, P.O. Box 4115, Beaumont, TX 77704, United States. Please include your name and if you would like I would also appreciate information such as your age, where you are from, and a photo of yourself past or present. Every story and storyteller is special and deserves to heard.
Here’s to us changing the world, one story at a time.