Thursday, February 6, 2014

Storytelling As A Path To Peace (Original article, edited and updated)

(Original article, Tuesday,January 10, 2012)

Tell me about this and tell me about that. I will hear you and I will see you with these eyes of mine that have learned to see into the world that goes beyond the ordinary. (Technically only one eye of mine can totally see the physical world. Can that fact and the one about my having been blind and recovering from blind for eight years (1998 –2006) be playing its part in the stories you share and I hear?)
 
Telling our stories helps us
overcome differences.
“Hello, this is Anastasia. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and your willingness to participate in New Horizons’ Possible Human, Possible Society Study. You can,also, read numerous stories related to the study on this site

Now that we have settled in for our phone interview, there are ten rather simple questions I will ask you to begin the process. They are basically yes or no answers. 

However, you can feel free to tell me more than just the black and the white. For the purposes of the study I want to know about the grey areas in between. Please feel free to share that too.”

So we begin. Before too long, you are telling me stories to illustrate your answers to my questions. Next you are telling me that which sounds as if it has been stored up inside of you, just waiting for someone to simply ask the right questions. Apparently I am able to do that. You honor me by releasing, to my listening ears, that bottled up genie inside of you, wanting to speak your truth about today’s socio-political climate in America.


I ask and you explicate why it is that the polarization of our national politics, the economic depravity of this country, the wars in the Middle East and the devastating decisions that our politicians are making, is so personally upsetting. This is your life and what matters most to you and those you love the most.

Later, when I reflect upon our interview, I am moved. I am changed somewhat. And the alteration of my consciousness that you have effected is far more than just a subtle nuance. Listening to and telling personal stories can have that effect.


You are almost every man and every woman I have interviewed thus far. Your stories – and the you that you have become – call me to realize that you, personally, are an important part of our national treasure chest.

The stories you tell me need to be told. They tap into the very heart of the collective perspectives behind being upset with America, now, when cultural upheaval seems to be at its peak. Your heart-felt sentiments and plain talking stories are what is, too frequently, masked bythe  complaining and “othering” we all do from time to time. Some of us, more than others.

When you pause and talk to me, as you do in our interviews, I am hearing that which goes beyond this. Your stories are profound, as well as moving. Drawing from the now-famous words of the Twelve Step programs; trite as they may sound, “Thank you for sharing.”

You have freely given of yourself and some of the principles of living you have meticulously carved out for yourself; your own unique paradigm; crafted just so, each piece in its place. Set by the master crafter of your heart and your mind.

My interview assistants tell me that most of you are finding study participation to be “thought provoking, interesting and even fun.” Most amazing to me, however, are the reports I am now getting that some of you are even calling it “magical.” Whatever can be going on here to merit that accolade?

Perhaps it is simply that 
Anastasia The Storyteller has learned how to invite out the storyteller in you. Your stories must be told, if reason is to remain in the insanity now surrounding us; personal stories of dreams and concerns.

The tales we will, collectively, leave behind for generations to come. Stories that depict the logic and the passion that has and can, again, make America great. Your stories tell of a new kind of pioneer spirit, a pioneering of the heart and the mind of twenty-first century U.S.A., striving for expression in all that you are and do.

Interestingly, one of the most uplifting things I am privy to, in your time with me, is that you are choosing, in heart and mind and action, to keep doing your best 
rather than accept the quagmire our leaders are creating. In spite of them, you are finding your own, particular way to press forward.

Thus I am hopeful as it seems as if more and more people are, now, taking back their rights and responsibilities. What to do? What to do? 

At the bare minimum in a land of freedom of speech, we know to, at least, keep talking.

So we are Possible Humans striving to make a Possible Society.

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