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Ukraine – The Importance of Telling Your Story

Ukraine – the unthinkable, unimaginable, and tragic war is, as we all know, all too real and we are unable to look away or shut out the news. This war is so horrific that it has captured the eyes and hearts of the world. We join the world in its collective prayer for peace.

Even as we pray, we are aware that when disasters happen we try to make sense of them when there is no sense possible.

When one is in a disaster, in that moment of making choices, to stay, to run, and if you decide to run, what do you grab as the necessities of life on the run?

These questions you ask are answered with an adrenaline-sharpened view of reality but you are also aware that none of this feels real. And there are thousands of questions that you likely don’t entertain, like, will I ever come back home? What will I and my neighbors and family members be able to hold onto of our culture, our home, our friends, and family? Scattered to the winds, refugees land somewhere with the most immediate of tangible necessities and hold their cultures and their loves in their heads and hearts. Survival is tantamount and those intangibles we trust to remain safely tucked away in our minds until we can take the time to bring them into the sunlight.

The mission of History Chip is to preserve those intangibles – those stories of hope and survival and culture. History Chip is a home for your grandmother’s favorite recipe, the stories of home that only you know, only you can tell, and when you tell them, home is recreated and preserved. So many things in our normal daily lives are lost along the way – an earring down the drain, a favorite glove dropped along the street. In a disaster, we may lose everything. But our memories are in our heads for us to cherish and share. Life, as we remember it is a treasure that we can share on History Chip, and others can treasure it as they read your stories. History Chip is a sanctuary for memories, for culture, and truth.

I met a man the other day who, some 50 years ago, had interviewed his grandmother about her escape as a 10-year-old girl, from Russian pogroms in 1910. She gave her grandson the wonderful gift of understanding her life before her escape and she gave herself the gift of preserving her memories, her experiences, her culture, and her way of life. Her son had 13 precious pages of her memories. We look forward to reading those stories on History Chip one day soon.

Telling your stories is a way to prove to those who would destroy your story, your culture, your truth, that your story, culture, and truth have value and that they persist.

At History Chip, we stand with all the people of Ukraine and with refugees around the world. We treasure your stories, your culture, and your truth. At History Chip, all your stories, culture, and truth are welcomed with love and preserved in the sanctuary of History Chip for all the world to read and share and treasure.

Originally appeared on History Chip and featured here with author permission.

Jean McGavin
Jean McGavinhttps://www.historychip.com/
Ms. McGavin is an historian, writer, mother, entrepreneur, and innovator. After securing a degree in Intellectual History, she spent years working in the theater as a dancer and designer. She has owned and operated Global Voice Systems, Inc for 22 years and in 2009 began work on History Chip. Her varied academic and career experiences as well as her own lived experiences, combined to offer her a unique perspective on the way the lives of most of us are underrepresented in historical context.

3 COMMENTS

  1. What a wonderful idea, History Chip, Jean.
    I took a detour to look at your website and wow, a lot of fun and touching articles. I hope that you will find a way to organize all this material so the diaspora from wherever can find stories that reflect the experiences of their ancestral homes.

    • Hello Charlotte,
      Thank you for your comments. Your hope is foundational to the project. The site is fully searchable by text as well as by categories including subject and author. In fact, the site is built on 3 fundamental functions of equal importance: read, write, search. The larger value of all of these stories is in their contribution to History Chip as a searchable historical archive available for research as well as interesting reading. I so appreciate your exploration of the site and hope that you will continue to visit History Chip.
      Best regards,
      Jean

  2. Welcome to BZC and congratulations on the History Chip idea.
    Storytelling is a fundamental activity, the expressive form that has always been used in the history of the human being. Its purpose has always been to attribute meanings, beyond shared norms, to everything that surrounds us, to lived experiences. It is a social and educational practice that has always responded to multiple and complex functions: from “remembering” to sharing collective experiences, from learning to pure entertainment.
    On BCZ, thanks to Dennis and his staff, this is possible and generates a sort of brotherhood among the participants that gives meaning to the contents of the experience of each of us.

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