Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Storytelling is the oldest of human skills, but it's never been more relevant

"Storytelling is the oldest of human skills, but it's never been more relevant. Perhaps everyone needs a refresher course on the golden rules of story telling. As we all gain the technological ability to tell our own stories, perhaps there's a gap that could be filled by some smart educational brands and new entities, to teach. Maybe this could be a role taken on by journalists, photographers and film-makers.../"
Influx Insights

This is what we are about on the something beautiful podcast ... helping people tell their stories. I am a firm believer that everyone... each and every person out there... has a story to tell - how they got to where they are at... how they became the people they are today... how they make sense of the world and their place in it.

However, underpinning this belief is the firm acknowledgement that everyone has value. Don't get me wrong, I am human and there are some people who have more value to me than others - Olly... Dayna... Miriam... my folks... my twurch... my friends at work... etc etc... mean more to me than someone I don't know... like that Justin Bieber chap. That doesn't mean he doesn't have value - I believe that we ALL have intrinsic value - its just that I don't know or I can't see his value as much as I can those people I surround myself with.

Nothing reinforces this thought more than my time spent out with the Bellshill Salvation Army's Street Project. Spending time with the folks that come to the soup van has clarified to me... in an absolute way... than even the folks that have been left behind and rejected by society have value... and have a story to tell. Through listening... through "being there"... I have come to know and catch a glimpse of the value they have.

I guess that's why the work Mark Horvath does with Invisible People is so important. He is providing an opportunity for folks to tell their story... to speak out... and allow viewers to catch a glimpse of the person's value. I'd love to do what he does... in Glasgow. Maybe one day.

But the thing is... we don't need video cameras to gain an insight into the value of others. All we need is to stop and listen... to be approachable... to put down whatever screen is coming between you and the world (literally & metaphorically)... and reach out.

Do you know the names of the folks you see on your daily commute? In fact, do you take the time to notice the folks you commute with... in order for their faces to be familiar? If not, why not? I am challenging myself with this as much as I am challenging you.

Do you "de-bud" when you are in line at the supermarket? Do you say "how you getting on" and look for a response?

At the end of the day... we can't expect to hear a person's story if we aren't able/willing to listen. We can refresh the world on how to tell a story all we want... but if no one is listening... its a pointless task. This is where Mark Horvath succeeds... he stops and listens.


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