“So, it’s like a diary, in which we write every day?” or “Oh! It’s journal writing, where we write all the events.” These are some questions that we are asked when introducing the ‘My History Kit’ to people.
After over a year or so of research the My History Kit was developed by a group of designers, a play therapist and historians. The intention behind a product such as this was to get people connected with themselves through their personal history – which includes their life experiences, milestones and family stories. It was an attempt not just to get people acquainted with their own story but also create awareness about personal history. In this case, it was felt the more people write/record their story, the more they will become aware of the power of history.
Now, here lies the difference between a diary entry, journaling everyday and writing your history. History writing is a cohesive record of events of the past or even ongoing events. When we read autobiographies and memoirs of people, they provide the readers with an expansive view of the subjects’ life – their growing up years, student life, social and political influences, inspirations, tragedies, achievements and all those life events, big or small, that make them the individuals they are. These autobiographies or histories of certain individuals then go on to inspire all those who read it.
Writing/recording your personal history is also like writing your autobiography or memoir. It is a carefully researched and nicely structured story of your life. A story that has all the essential elements – characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution. While writing your personal history, you go back in time, remember and recall events, analyse and understand the impact of those events and how those events have shaped your present.
Having said that, it’s also essential to add that writing your personal history is not a difficult task. And it is definitely not something that is only done by a select few. One does not have to be famous to write their personal history, for there are many famous (or infamous) people whose stories are also untold. When it comes to your personal history, you just have to sit down and write it.
My History Kit gives you that starting point. It encourages you to record your life history. It makes you think of moments that are important to you. It doesn’t stop there. The kit, most importantly, pushes you to jot down your personal history. While the journal gives you space to write your thoughts, the map – a blank sheet of paper gives you an opportunity to be even more creative and record your history. The dice acts as a writing prompt when stuck with your writing and the tangram is a good entertainer while you record your history.
Therefore, the My History Kit is not a daily diary entry or journaling. It’s a record of your past or ongoing events; events that have the power to inspire you, motivate you during difficult times and pave way for a future that is wholesome and balanced.