Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The next step

I just finished reading a book called THE HEALING. I think it's going to be a big deal when it comes out early next year, and for good reason. Comparisons to THE HELP are well founded.

It's a story set mostly in the time of slavery, and it speaks of how story can shape generations of people and, when revealed anew, can change how each of us sees ourselves. I know that sounds rather grand and philosophical, but it's true. Think of the stories that define your family, both the good ones and the ones about hard times or difficult choices: they influence you in ways you probably don't think all that much about. But there they are, shaping things.

In the back of the book, there's a special section written by the author, a white man, describing how he came to feel so passionately about race relations and the particular sort of stories he wanted to tell. My favorite line is this: "I have discovered the truth in the old saying, 'Facts can explain us, but only story will save us.' If you want to destroy a people, destroy their story. If you want to empower a people, give them a narrative to share."

Think about your story today, and how it's shaping you. Then consider: what is the next step to move your story forward, in a direction you'll be excited to live and will add to the larger narrative? Now remember the mighty penguin from this post awhile back, and take the step :)

(How's THAT for big thoughts on a Tuesday morning?!?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My daughter gave me this same advice recently. She told me to think about my life as a book - how do I want the story to unfold (she's 11 and loves reading). I've discovered that I need to take some chances and make a few moves to get my storyline on track!