Nancy Duarte advocates for personal stories in her book Resonate.
I’m sure you have items lying around in your garage that you keep because they’re precious to you, even though they’d be meaningless to anybody else. I have those items, too.
At the time my Gram passed away, there was nothing in her home of much material value. She was a quick- witted lady who lived a simple, non-pretentious life in a small house built near an orchard and won awards for the poetry she wrote. When it came time for the dreaded task of dividing up her belongings, I knew exactly what I wanted: it was a small, stained teacup. This trinket was precious to me, although it wouldn’t be worth a dime at a yard sale. I didn’t want it for its design or its craftsmanship. I wanted it because of the way I used it. I would visit Gram and sip from that cup for hours at a time while she told stories to me. The monetary value of that cup was nothing. But to me, it was priceless.
The value of one’s belongings or even their life is not based on what it physically is; the real value comes from the meaningfulness associated with it by another person.
Recollecting our experiences and the experiences of others are precious gifts of attention that never stop gracing us with sense- giving and sense-making moments.