Yes, I said that to a reporter who covered my primary sources lesson. In that lesson U.S. History students pieced together a scholarly narration about the life of Joshua Henry Bates after their research of his personal records (primary sources). As students analyzed the telegrams, letters, photographs and other items, they recognized connections to the American Expeditionary Forces during The Great War in Europe.
That statement is neither goofy or convoluted. Without individual stories we would not have the warp or weft to weave the tapestry of monumental events of history, that is, BIG history. John Donne reminds me of this interconnectivity when he wrote:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind...
The converse of a clod being washed away by the sea occurs in history. Private, solitary stories intertwine, weave, to enliven historical events that mould our world.
Without the stories of an uncle, a grandmother,a brother or a cousin, big history comes across as a myth. With our family stories, big history is vibrant and real.