Saturday, November 8, 2014

“Enemies are people...

... who's story you haven't heard, or who's face you haven't seen.*
Storytelling as a way of passing on wisdom and culture is as old as the spoken word. However, oftentimes the internet seems to have rendered it obsolete. 

When we stop taking the time to tell our stories to one another, especially face-to-face, we intercept the flow of our humanity.

That realization came home to me when Jack, my Possible Society In Motion Radio Show co-host, and I hit a road block in our program planning efforts this past week.

That is – until a well-timed story initiated by Jack broke the deadlock!

I have recounted my story about Jack’s story in Post Mid-Term Election Reflections And The Wind In My Sails. Both of these are stories I hope I will long remember. Their poignancy to me is so great.

I took a lesson from Jack’s telling of his story, offering it back in the story I later told about the importance I attached to both. I told my side of it, after the fact, on my blog site as well as on our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show.

Now several days later I have gotten to pondering the significance, once again, of the role storytelling, generally, plays in my life. Additionally, this contemplation has brought me back to wanting to draw attention to the important role storytelling plays in the data gathering for our Possible Human, Possible Society Study.

Sometimes one can become so accustomed to even the most supreme riches of one’s life that you can forget to honor the Divine gifts they bring.

I may be guilty of this neglect where the importance of storytelling is concerned; the wondrous rewards I receive by telling my stories and having others listen to them. And the priceless gifts I receive when others share their stories with me.

Truly the most rewarding benefit I have, to date, accrued in doing interviews for our Possible Human, Possible Society Study is the experience of participants telling me the stories that are personally relevant for them as they relate to the objectives of the study.

I have previously written of the awe I have known in this process of human heart and mind to human heart. But I have become so accustomed to the magic of it that I have neglected, for a time, to hold it far enough out in front of me so as to admire its luminescence.

Right now I am making up it for that here.

It was storytelling, both Jack’s and mine, that enabled me to come up with a script plan for our last program that I could feel good about.  I had been so mired in the ruminations of last Tuesday’s elections that I had lost my way in getting to the heart of the matter, if “heart” can be seen anywhere near our political election process.

Storytelling turned me around.

So, now, as New Horizons gets itself ready to embark on the next phase of our study; polarization as it may or may not be playing itself out in campus life, I am re-setting my intentions so as to not lose sight of the singular importance storytelling plays in our study.

Anastasia, The Super Sleuth Says – 

Remember this --
Enemies are people who's story you haven't heard, or who's face you haven't seen.*
So if you want to really be a genuine peace builder take time to tell and hear the stories of others.

P.S. Once I heard the quote above, attributed to Irene Butter, a Holocaust survivor and the subject of the film "Never a Bystander," I could never forget it. I hope you won’t either.

*Whether or not Dr. Butter is the true originator of these words is a relatively small matter compared to the impact this message has had on many others, as well as myself.

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