Ask Before It’s Too Late

Today’s post has nothing to do with business, but it’s such a good idea I had to pass it along.  Thanks to Dave Delaney for mentioning this in a comment on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation podcast., under the subject of genealogy offers a list of fifty things to ask your parents or other family members.  The object is to get information for a family history search.  But, even if you have zero interest in genealogy, the answers to these questions will give you a great insight into your parents, probably revealing information about them that you don’t know because you’ve never asked.

Obviously if you know some of the answers, you won’t have to ask all fifty questions.  On the other hand, the fifty questions listed may give you ideas for some other things you’d like to know.  The best way to do this is to set up an audio recorder to save the answers for posterity.  Attach a microphone to your PC or laptop to do the recording and you can save it as an .mp3 file.  Then you can burn it to a CD or email the file to out-of-town family members. [Audio recording software like Sound Recorder (included with Microsoft Windows) and Audacity are easy to use and they’re free.  Many laptops have built-in microphones that make recording easy.  If you’re uncomfortable with the process, a cassette recorder would also work.  But there’s probably a teenager in your life who would love to help you do the recording.]

If your parents are gone, or even if they aren’t, you should pass this idea along to your kids.  They may not be interested today, but someday they’ll thank you for having the foresight to leave them a priceless family record.

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