“If all at once we could hear every story ever told, the cacophonous song of whispers, sagas, songs, tears, and laughter would remind us that we are never alone, that we are — through stories — wholly connected to one another.”
A story shared is a thread that tethers us to one another, deepening our understanding and appreciation of the diversity of human experience. It’s an offering that invites us to the very edge of our individual selves and into the collective of the world. Packaged as poetry, personal narrative, song, and more, stories open windows into worlds beyond our own, and gift us new and different perspectives. If all at once we could hear every story ever told, the cacophonous song of whispers, sagas, songs, tears, and laughter would remind us that we are never alone, that we are — through stories — wholly connected to one another.
Over the years, so many of you have gifted us with your stories of how grateful living informs, shapes, and is manifested in your lives. You’ve sent us profoundly moving emails and letters, offered your poetry and personal journeys, shared how your organizational missions are rooted in gratitude, and described the ways gratefulness has been a guidepost in times of joy and a lifeline in times of grief. We’ve received each of these offerings as the sacred gift that it is — the gift of your voice telling your story. Now, for the first time, we’re excited and deeply honored to be launching a project that lifts up your stories through video. To see your faces and hear your voices — this is yet another rich gift.
In the summer of 2020, while all of us around the globe were isolated in some way from those we love, award-winning photographer and filmmaker Doug Menuez found a way for us to gather safely outdoors to listen closely to the stories of seven individuals for whom grateful living is a way of life. For three days, Doug’s team set up an outdoor film set, and our executive director Kristi Nelson settled into long conversations with the participants in this project. The result of Doug’s beautiful work is the launch of our new series: Grateful Voices.
The series begins with the voices of our first seven participants: James, Marta, Noah, Claire, Vishal, Wendy, Adetola. To each of them, we offer our deepest gratitude for their willingness to connect with us during the pandemic and for the extraordinary generosity of entrusting us with their stories. Every two weeks over the coming months, we’ll share one of their individual videos. As this project takes flight, we will be inviting others in the global community of grateful living to share stories of what it means to them to live gratefully in the world. We can’t wait to lean in and listen closely.
Heartfelt gratitude and awe for Doug Menuez and his team, including Executive Producer Pear Urushima, Director of Photography Luke Carquillat and Sound Technician/Gaffer Dino Davaros.
To watch the films in this series, visit Grateful Voices.