Recently, I finished reading Thomas King’s The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative. This short collection of essays weaves together both personal and political narratives, with an underlying premise that our world is shaped by the stories we hear and choose to believe. This book reinforced my belief that multiple perspectives and viewpoints matter, that we all need to keep our minds and hearts open to experiences other than our own or those that confirm our viewpoints.
In this work, King allows different kinds of stories to glide alongside each other, demonstrating the possibility that multiple narratives each have power and merit. We don’t necessarily need to privilege one narrative over another; the world is more complex than that, and if we limit our exposure to a narrow set of stories, we undercut our understanding and connection to the larger community. In essence, listening to a variety of narratives is essential to our critical and creative thinking.
If you’re interested in documenting the stories around you, in learning more about the people in your life through the narratives they carry within, you might find this app useful and exciting. Story Corps, known for the tales they collect and archive, as developed this app that allows users to record, document, and upload the stories they collect. Once uploaded, they become part of the living body of narrative in the library of Congress. To hear the Ted Talk, click here: Ted Talk about Story Corps and its App.
Our stories matter—maybe more than ever. To transcend our despair, to open our ways of knowing the world, to finding the empathy that connects, let’s listen.