Did you know that, 400 years ago, when the plays of Shakespeare were originally being performed in London, audience members had the ability to memorize the famous playwright’s lines within four to five sittings? And that, after the professional showing, they’d head back home, and reenact the plays locally?
When I heard this from my professor, it astounded me. I thought, “You have to be joking. That’s not possible.” Of course, the plays can be memorized and reenacted today, but in four to five sittings? That’s robotic.
But, it makes sense. Through adaptation, over time, human beings slowly adjust to their surroundings. Scientists have found that families (notably, after many, many generations) tend to gradually grow taller when moving away from a cold environment, and shorter, when moving into one. So that the men and women in the warm environment can produce more oxygen to combat the heat; and those in the cold environment can self-produce much needed warmth. This is why 40 degrees in October feels frigid, and yet relaxing in January. Thank you, God.
We are the result of the choices we make. And with the inventions of the printing press, computers, and cars, in the last couple of centuries, I’d strongly argue we made the choice to exchange advanced verbal communication and hearing for advanced written communication and reflexes. We have adapted to surfing the web, watching television, and visually digesting thousands of words, and images, per day.
And because we are used to so many images, we have no problem driving a car at 70 or 80 miles per hour. Or navigating the streets of New York on a bicycle. Something I am sure a Londoner from the 1600s would have a lot of trouble doing, purely on instinct.
But, consequently, with all of the perks to being a 21st Century speedster, we have lost the ability to verbally communicate with each other, as our ancestors once were able to. Instead, our keen eyes only aid us in observing the struggles of others from a distance.
Therefore, with Gramazin, we hope to take a disadvantage and make it a strength. If we are incapable of approaching each other in real life, and sharing our stories from mouth to ear, then why not work towards bringing them to where we are most comfortable?
It is our hope to do the dirty work of collecting 10,000 stories that you may not hear going on a walk through your neighborhood. Storytelling has always been a vital part of oral history and tradition. And we want to continue that through Gramazin.
Help us by sharing your story, so that others may be encouraged to share their own to you.