Creating a legacy might be the second, third, or even 10th thing you think about when starting a podcast. However, it is one of the most powerful examples of how hosting a podcast can impact the lives of ourselves and others.
Preserving the Past
And, with a podcast, you’re not just creating your legacy — you’re also contributing to your guests’ legacies by preserving them through your interviews.
Over the years, we’ve hosted more than a few guests who have died tragically and unexpectedly. We sometimes discover the loss through emails from a grieving loved one, and we’re deeply touched by the many kind, grateful messages we’ve received. It can be difficult to imagine just how powerful a voice or video recording can be for a mourning family member, unless you’ve been in their shoes yourself — like Jeremy has, before he even had his own podcast.
Jeremy’s grandfather, David Danzyger, was a Holocaust survivor and was interviewed by theHolocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois about his experience. The interview covers many of David’s stories from the Holocaust, including the deaths of his whole family except for one of his brothers.
Many details of the interview amazed Jeremy. After such traumatic experiences, his grandfather only realized he’d won against the Nazis when his first grandson was born — Jeremy. But the most surprising and touching detail emerged after the interviewer asked, “Is there a lesson you think the world should learn from the Holocaust?”
He replied, “Definitely. People should learn to love people they hate. It takes more work for me than I’d like it to.” But David never gave up on the effort, and it showed through his generous life.
Interviews That Last
This interview had a big impact on Jeremy’s perspective of his grandfather’s experiences and even propelled Jeremy to start his own podcast, where he could make connections and preserve peoples’ stories and wisdom through interviews.
Podcasts can leave a similar legacy, especially when guests share personal stories they’ve never told their families — which happens more often than you’d think. One of John’s recent guests told his story of building a business to a revenue of $11 million a year, then losing everything when his key clients left. After he turned in his office keys, he was in an extremely dark place. His 9-year-old daughter walked into the room where he’d been crying. “Have you been crying?” she asked.
“No, these are happy tears,” he lied (understandably!).
She started asking all sorts of questions, and he slowly started to explain what happened with his business. Then she asked, “What are you going to do?”
He said, “Well, I’ll probably start a new business.”
“That’s great! What are you going to call it?” she exclaimed. “Let’s put it on Instagram!” It was the perfect kind of encouragement he needed at that moment. Suddenly, there was no tragedy in his professional life, just new opportunities.
We don’t know if he’s ever told his daughter how meaningful that moment was for him. But one day, she might listen to that podcast episode and find out.
If there’s anything we’re extra grateful for this year, it’s the incredible stories and wisdom we’ve learned from others. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving season.