I need your help!
I am embarking on the most exciting endeavor of my life. And, I really do need your help. I am synergizing my 50+ years of knowledge, skills, experiences, creativity and talent in audio recording, audio and video production, book publishing, voice-over and communications to begin, what I hope will ultimately become, one of the largest, ongoing, digital, multimedia archives of human knowledge, experience, achievements and wisdom ever compiled.
Before you blow me off, hear me out. I am one person with a big dream and limited resources. But, I have an insatiable lifetime curiosity and passion for learning and gaining from other people's lives, stories and wisdom. Add what I bring to the table from the last paragraph and I'm about to launch, in my estimation, the biggest and most all encompassing dream of my lifetime. It's also, most likely, going to be my last endeavor of this magnitude.
I'm calling it “Big Questions” as a working title. The name comes from an author, John Applegath, I met several years ago in Durham, New Hampshire. He created an idea to discuss really important issues and questions about life in informal group discussions. Due to health and some other issues, he wasn't able to really launch the concept. His idea has remained in the back of my mind since we met.
The scope of what I'm working on is far more detailed than I can explain here. I'm preparing a treatise you'll be able to download. It will explain in great detail the entire concept and scope of my Big Questions project. This is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Right now there is a certain urgency. The commencement of this project involves interviewing certain individuals who are nearing the “expiration” dates of their life spans. I must start immediately recording these interviews.
Here is where you come in. I already have a number of questions of my own. A few people have already submitted some questions to me. Now, I'm soliciting you to submit one, two or maybe three questions to add to my list.
I don't need the usual simplistic questions we all see/hear and read in “People,” “Time” or hear on typical talk shows on the various media. What I want are questions that delve deeply into life issues – whether personal, relationship, business, philosophical, faith based, political, financial, etc.
Think of it this way, if you could have the opportunity to sit with friends, relatives, colleagues, people active in your community, business people, etc., what you would really like to know about these individuals. What would you like to know about their philosophies, attitudes, experiences, special knowledge on the really important subjects like life, death, success, failure, love, science, medicine, assisted suicide, marijuana, the experiences in their lives that were pivotal in who they became . . . as far as I'm concerned, there are no off limit questions. Consider this, what questions would you like someone to ask you to get to really know who you are and what you believe?
I will be listing these questions (and I do expect duplicates and some that may be similar with slight variations) and categorizing them. Each time I'm preparing to interview a subject, I'll select questions I feel are specifically apropos for the individual. I'll send them the questions in advance so they may review and prepare to answer them. They may decline to answer any questions they prefer not to answer. All questions will be anonymous. They will not know who submitted the questions.
I will ask some initial “back story,” oral history questions to establish who the individual is and his or her background – where born, parents, childhood, education, occupational/professional career and similar before asking the “Big Questions.” The interviews will be informal and will start and stop for breaks. There are no time limits on any questions. And, if, as the individual is responding to a question, I think of other questions to delve deeper into the primary question, I will ask them.
The interview subjects will not be individuals of celebrity status, although, that is not outside the realm of possibility. If you are familiar with Studs Terkel and Charles Kuralt, they are two of my main influences. They documented people through recorded interviews, photos and video from all walks of life from the poor to the wealthy, mostly between the extremes.
All interviews will be video and audio recorded (other than several I have on audio from the past – some are deceased) and archived in unedited format.
I won't go into further detail at this time. When the treatise is ready, I'll make it available so you may access it and learn the full scope of this project.
I currently have a short list of interview subjects, so time is of the essence. If you desire to participate in this project, please respond rapidly, but thoughtfully. Also, I'm open to suggestions of interview subjects you feel represent 20th/21st Century society. Submit a name, contact info, location and brief statement why they would be a good representative of our times. And, don't be surprised if someone doesn't suggest you.
I'll be using my blog, social media and email to solicit questions, so please, don't be upset if you receive this by more than one communication mode.
Please send all submissions to my Gmail address – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, in advance, for your assistance in this exciting endeavor.
Live free and be happy. EH