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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hearing Stories

How do you prefer to tell your story?

Everyone has a story. Most people want to tell their story to others - it's the human condition. On a recent visit to the 9/11 memorial, I was mesmerized listening to "Story Corps", a long running project sponsored by National Public Radio. The faces accompanying those stories made that experience very powerful. I suspect the method many people prefer when telling their story is conversation. That got me reflecting - How skilled am I recognizing when a conversation has moved from the mundane and become someone telling me their story? How skilled are you recognizing that shift?

Despite being an extrovert, I'm more inclined to tell my story via writing, hence a lifelong habit of journalling and since early 2011, this blog. Another preferred method, also less direct than conversation, is telling my story via music. But my frequent frustration with those methods, usually related to how skillfully I'm telling the story, can lead me to conversation. When reverting to that, I hope someone is really listening. But the method any of us use is just the means to the crucial end - the story itself. So it occurred to me recently that the sooner I stop judging myself for how skillfully I'm telling my own story, the better I might get at really hearing the stories of others. Your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Story Corps is the 8th wonder of the world. I recently found myself listening to my plumber, who wanted to tell the story of his experience of Super Storm Sandy. His description of walking through 2 feet of water in his living room in pitch dark but seeing every step he took illuminated by bioluminescence in the sea water has stayed with me vividly. The beauty of nature embedded in its fury.

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