The power of storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful thing.

Not everything gets written down or photographed but stories can always be passed down as long as someone is happy to speak and someone is willing to listen.

For many storytelling perhaps conjures up images of childhood sitting cross legged on the floor as the teacher reads you story or your parents making up a bedtime story where you’re the main character and you save the day.

But there is so much power in the stories we tell about life. It’s how people passed on information, it’s a way of bringing people together and when you tell stories of the past it helps people imagine the way things once her.

My grandparents tell me stories of their lives and my parents too and it’s fascinating. Hearing the stories of people you know is probably the most realistic glimpse into the past you can possibly get.

My focus here is on non-fiction, things that actually happened because that’s the stuff worth remembering.

Assumptions and understanding

In the past couple of weeks you’ve probably seen things happen that you would have once considered bad. Yet the way these events have unfolded, these acts are almost worthy of praise.

When you look at an incident in isolation, it’s easy to make a judgement about what is wrong or right, what should or shouldn’t happen and if something is good or bad. It’s something we do quite often.

We go around making assumptions based on limited information ignoring the fact that we don’t know the full story because it’s fun to fill in the gaps. But also because sometimes the full story takes more time and effort than we are willing to give.

It’s much easier to assume that someone is wrong than it is to consider the why behind their actions. This may not have any real impact in the moment however, in the long run simply choosing the easiest thought path can have negative results.

So, it might be worth slowing down, looking at the bigger picture, getting informed and then making a judgment based on much more than surface level understanding.

Who makes the news?

A group of people died at the weekend and somehow social media became a sort of Chinese whispers where people were spreading false news.

And so it got me wondering who makes the news and how could they get things so wrong.

I think in these times where fast isn’t quick enough, people put being the first (or one of the first) to break a story over getting all the facts. One broadcasting company even showed a video of the wrong person, who was in fact still alive and not involved in the accident whatsoever.

Or maybe it’s us, reading the headlines and filling in the blanks because that’s easier and sometimes more interesting than the truth. But filling in the blanks and spreading fake news isn’t useful.

Spreading fake news reduces the integrity of journalism and in times of tragedy can cause unnecessary hurt and confusion.

So to the people that make the news and the ones that spread it, think more and handle it with care.

She carries it with her wherever she goes

If you’re wondering what she carries with her, the answer is fear.

It’s in her voice, the way she talks. You’ll hear the words not quite flow because she’s second guessing herself, so worried about not saying the wrong thing that she can never say the right thing.

It’s in the way she walks, with her head down and no eye contact. She sort of stomps along as if to make her presence known but all she wants to do is hide.

And if you watch her you’ll see it in the way she picks at her fingers, fidgets in her seat and constantly observes her surroundings as though there is something to fear.

But there is something to fear, at least there is in her world.

There’s mistakes, embarrassment and comparison.

And it’s in the way she moves. She’s so tense and rigid that it feels uncomfortable to relax her muscles.

She is so full of fear and she carries it with her wherever she goes.

If she could only let it go it would change her life and she knows it but she doesn’t know how.

Even when she can’t feel it, it’s still there lingering.

But most people have no idea and so they just think she’s a little odd but she’s just trying to be normal.

A 17 year old walks into a bookshop in Wales…

That’s how the story of how I discovered the person who would become one of my biggest life inspirations begins. This person would go on to help influence the words I wrote, the person I’ve become and the things that I chose to do.

At 17 I liked to think that I was someone who didn’t fall for marketing ploys. I liked to think that I was a girl unswayed by the things that surrounded me.

Mostly because marketing sometimes seemed like you were being tricked into wanting or buying things by people who wanted your money, like a sort of elaborate scam.

I wanted to believe that I was above that sort of thing but I can now admit that the perception I held of myself wasn’t true.

I was wrong.

Wrong because I felt myself pulled to pick up a book called ‘Free Prize Inside’. Turns out there was no actual free prize inside the book but it did change my life which is even better.