Friday November 25 has the potential to be more than the best consumer day of the year. It could be the day when you find deeper levels of personal understanding, growth, insight and relationships. Friday is the National Day of Listening, a project of StoryCorps that, while focused on thanking teachers, is equally applicable to anyone that you wish to engage with either now or in reflections of gratitude on the past.

As many of us gather with family and friends over these holiday days, it would be ironic not to embrace these opportunities to bring our full selves openly into conversations and leave them refreshed, enlightened, and more inspired by those close to us. Sometimes, such a simple activity seems unusual, even a little daunting. How can you peel away concealing layers of familiarity and unwitting distance? It starts with a little openness, a little curiosity and a question or two. Perhaps one of these questions, drawn from this National Day of Listening great questions list:

  • How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
  • How did you and grandma/grandpa meet?
  • What are your dreams for your children?
  • If you could do everything again, would you raise me differently?
  • How would your classmates remember you?
  • Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • How did you propose?
  • Do you like your job?
  • What was the most profound spiritual moment of your life?
  • How do you want to be remembered?

I give thanks today for my mentoring relationship with a splendid young man, which we reflected on in our own conversation a few years ago in a recorded StoryCorps interview, which you can hear more of via this earlier Squish post here. That conversation continues and today I look forward to more with friends and family. You also can listen, engage and converse: Read more about the National Day of Listening here. Maybe even share a few good questions or reflections of your own in the comments/reply section on this post. Happy Thanksgiving.