Storytelling has always been a part of our culture. In the words of Donna J. Haraway, “It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.” What stories do the elderly have to tell? Their stories carry us and allow us to dream.
The act of sharing stories allows our grandparents to leave behind a part of themselves, connect with others, and contribute to the collective human experience. It's a way to bridge generational gaps, foster understanding, and create a sense of continuity between the past, present and future.
At a talk attended by over 60 elderly people at Rosebank Union Church, all of whom have a story to tell, Heartlines CEO and author of Like Water is for Fish, Dr Garth Japhet, highlighted how telling our stories may be hard, but “it will offer healing and in your moment of breakdown or sharing your tale, you’ll realise how important your story may be in healing and teaching others too”. Irrespective of how insignificant your story may seem to someone; it means the most the people who are supposed to hear it.
Dr Japhet shared his own story about how, as a teenager, he was inspired by The Jungle Doctor series of books. Despite being afraid of blood and being horrible at maths and science, he pursued a career as a medical doctor, specialising in in maternal and child health.
Bonolo is a multimedia journalist and content creator at Heartlines. She has experience in online and radio media production and helps spread the Heartlines message on multiple platforms.
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