Devon Noel Lee
Nick Jonas Interview Reveals Why Family Histories Should Include Many Perspectives
Do you remember your childhood accurately? Does someone else possibly have some insight that can make your personal history more interesting?
The truism that there are two sides to every story played out perfectly in an interview
Kevin Jonas, Sr. did with his son Nick Jonas, on the “Legendary with Kevin Jonas ” YouTube channel.
Nick’s father interviewed him and asked questions that a traditional podcaster or show host wouldn’t consider.
At one point, Kevin said something so profound related to the topic of my video. He said, "I can't wait to ask you about your perception. Because I know my side of it, and we've often talked about all these sides and recollections to our stories."
I especially love the statement, “all these sides and recollections to our stories.” In other words, Kevin seems to feel that there are many sides to the recollections of our stories.
Nick, his son, will have one view, and he will have another.
The interview is a discussion of those varying recollections. I highly recommend you watch it from an eye toward what, as family historians, we can learn from this conversation.
Should Personal Histories include stories from our loved ones reflecting on our lives?
Thanks to this interview, I have considered the question, “should personal histories include more stories from our loved ones reflecting on our lives?”
Thanks to this interview, we can see something pretty interesting. Kevin Sr asks Nick about his earliest musical memory. He says,
"I don't remember the moment I first sang or, uh you know, heard music or fell in love with music. But my memory is about a bit of a rebellious streak as it relates to music. And that was like jumping into the pit that the drum kit was in at CF and I [Nick] Bible College that you taught at and went to my mom and all that."
Isn't it interesting that Nick is inserting a little bit of context in his setting?
He told us the college in which his father taught at!
Really great job, Nick! I wish all of our relatives would do that!
Watch this video to hear the clips from Nick and Kevin's interview and the full commentary from this blog post.
Nick continued, "I went down there, and I was banging on the drums. And I think it was two or three, yeah. And that's my first music memory is, is not like, you know, doing it the right way but just playing and having fun enjoying it."
By contrast, Kevin Sr shared this memory, "Our memory is so emotional for us. We would wake up.And when you would wake up, we would hear this Angelic high voice travel through the house."
Nick remembers banging on drums.
And his father remembers him singing sweetly.
As family historians, what are your takeaways?
Multiple Perspectives Reveal the Deeper Character
Nick likely doesn’t really remember what his father remembers, yet that’s how Kevin Sr remembers his son.
Both stories tell you about Nick’s involvement in music from an extremely early age - both the sweet and rebellious aspects of his character.
Then, we can consider Nick as a young adult and speculate (since none of us are close enough relatives) how much of the sweet or rebellious streaks are part of his story today.
In fact, one would wish you could see pictures of young Nick beating on the drum set
and compare it to him banging the drums in Camp Rock 2.
Are there any similarities?
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What Should Personal Historians Learn?
Since this is a family history writing channel, what tips do I have for you?
First, write your stories with your memories.
Then, begin asking relatives to contribute their memories.
If you’re writing a personal history, you’ll ask for memories about yourself.
When writing a family history, you’ll ask for memories about a shared ancestor.
For instance, I grew up far away from my grandma. The memories I have are of a visiting relative who tagged along to several events that I participated in.
By contrast, my cousin Boomer has one of my favorite stories about Grannie.
When Boomer graduated from Annapolis and was preparing for his Navy assignments, Grannie gave him an odd and humorous present. You'll have to watch the video to learn what it was.
The story about her life would be hollow if I only wrote about my grandmother from my perspective.
I could also include memories of my youngest cousin, who lived with my Grannie in her home during her childhood, that story will differ even further. She’ll know the day-to-day Grandma, especially at Gran’s end of life.
To sum up, learn from the Kevin and Nick Jonas’s interview.
Notice how they share other stories, and you gain great insight into both men from the perspectives of themselves and the other person.
Apply those lessons to your family histories and see how transformative this tip becomes.