Being a student of history, I often find great value in the evaluation of the past.
What action was taken? What worked? What didn’t? What strategies did they use? How did historical figures galvanize millions into action? What did they say to mobilize their followers? Why did socialism take root in Europe? Why didn’t it in the US? Why did our government take that course of action? How did this cultural event shape foreign policy? On and on…
Looking back on the political, social, and economic advances of the past century, we notice some patterns… one of which has to do with the sharing of information.
Specifically, the sharing of stories.
A key component to the success of an organization, a movement, a military, perhaps even an entire nation, is built upon its stories. We yearn for good stories: of those overcoming adversity; conquest despite lost hope; perseverance in the face of defeat; the traversing of incredible obstacles; a million to one odds.
Our emotions rise and fall to the inflections of the narrative, captivated by words organized into an insight into another life.
“Our struggles are the same… they did it…” we whisper to ourselves.
Humans love a good story.
That’s why it’s absolutely critical that you share yours. It’s too easy to feel as a grain of sand being washed around by an ocean of power and pressure, succumbed to forces simply greater than our own. So easy is it to feel helpless in this mess of giant systems and powerful players controlling our fates.
And yet, personal testimony remains one of the greatest forces humanity has and ever will see. A power residing firmly within you.
Who could have known the testimony of a black, southern priest would forever alter the domestic and foreign course of the most powerful nation in the world? Who could have predicted that a small, Muslim girl sharing her story of surviving a gunshot wound to the head would impact billions so deeply that it inspired action from nations all across the globe?
At one point, these two were simply people with a story to tell… and thank God they told them – their stories inspired the action of billions.
Look around you. We’re an uninspired people. Our figures are disgraceful; our businesses are shameful; our communities are dying; our leaders grow fat with greed.
We need help. But to help, we need action. But to act, we need inspiration. And to feel inspired, we need a good story.
So share yours. Share it with me. Share it with your neighbor. Share it with the stranger on the bus. Our communities need your triumphs and failures. We need to know that our struggles are not in vain; that peace is conceivable; that harmony is on the horizon; that we’re similar in fight and cause.
We yearn for your story. Share it with us.