Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Storytelling As A Path To Peace: Revisited

I’m reviewing a select, few blog articles I’ve written, half-heartedly searching for a connection between one particular piece and a story Jack, my co-host on The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show,“ recently told.

There is a niggling link between that earlier item, “Storytelling as a path to peace,” and Jack’s story. All day long I find myself challenged to locate it. But discovery does not come quickly or easily.
Jack Slattery, storyteller 
and co-host,
Possible Society In Motion 

It’s not simply the most obvious connection; both items involve “storytelling.” And, both; my blog piece and Jack’s story, are presented within related contexts; New Horizons’ sponsored communications. The former is my article for New Horizons’ blog site, here, and Jack’s story was told on our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show.

Still it takes me all day, once started on this discovery mission, to find the missing link. Meanwhile I am drawn, again and again, to some small point, yet not small at all. By sunset the connection still eludes me, however. Have I now lost a day hunting wild geese, I ask myself?

At dusk, light begins to dawn. Jack’s wonderfully, heart-warming tale is about an incident that occurred, recently, at the Homeless center at which he volunteers. Somehow this juxtaposes with my experience, as main interviewer, that, generally speaking, “storytelling” has played a central role, thus far, in the data gathering for the Possible Human, Possible Society Study.  Interview subjects share their values, viewpoints and activities related to building that “possible society” for which we are yearning through the study process.

Storytelling is often the vehicle for conveying these.

Jack’s heart-warming story about a touching experience with a homeless man suggests these, too; values, viewpoints and actions. With that telling, beautiful all on its own, Jack personifies and spotlights an important notion; storytelling, on this site and on our radio show, may be a magical ingredient for achieving important results, at least, as far as New Horizons’ is concerned.

If you read my piece, “Storytelling as a path to peace,” you will see, right away, what I mean, in terms of the role of storytelling for the study.

The intention of our radio show is to offer a community conversations forum to inspire social change through the sharing of personal, evolving community-unity building perspectives, philosophies and activities.  Jack’s story hit the mark by exemplifying what New Horizons wants most from sponsoring and producing this show; to contribute our small part to social change, now, in this present moment, and support others doing the same.

With his tale, Jack personifies a “possible human” doing his best to help create a “possible society.” (This link will take you to original telling of that story.) His story, also, recalls a quote from an earlier show (also introduced by Jack). You can hear it on podcast.
"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there." The Zen of The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.
I am gratified, personally, whenever I have occasion to witness, as I have in this instance, someone representing values and matching actions embody Pirsig's words. For me,the translate into something like this –
“I want to be a better person than I am right now. Even if I am doing o.k.. I am open to learning. I will step into the process, risk the pain of loss and ego death, revise and update my view of the world and expand my comfort zone for this.”
You can hear this, personified, in Jack’s story of an everyday task made noble and great.
Listen in, again, this Thursday evening, February 13, 6;30 p.m. when Jack, and I, again, along with our friend, Gloria Livingston, offer our considered perspectives -- and – more stories, honoring the great and the small in everyday life.
With lots of room for your stories, too, (on our conference call, second portion of the show), with the intent of our joining with you to help build that hoped for “possible society in motion.”

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