Telling Through Story

Quote about Telling

Once upon a time, we shared our stories as a way to share our knowledge to help us all go forward together, to learn, to know what was safe and acceptable, and what wasn’t. It was the way we grew as people and survived. We shared our stories, we heard them, helped where needed, and we all moved on. It provided a cultural framework for sharing our ways of being.

Stories had many purposes in our communities:

  • Established origin of life and values
  • Education and life lessons
  • Healing
  • Humor
  • History
  • Bring Understanding
  • Structure to our lives – understand our place in the world

There are many other purposes of story that have been used in our communities, however for many years, we were silenced and were not able to share our stories. Silence then became a way of survival, of showing strength, of hiding shame, of silencing our way of being.

We need to share our stories to help our communities and those who will come after; to once again learn from our stories, honor our stories, and help us all grow forward.

Resource

Native Daughters – Native Storytellers Connect the Past and The Future: http://cojmc.unl.edu/nativedaughters/storytellers/native-storytellers-connect-the-past-and-the-future

Your Story

In the words of David Walsh, author, “Whoever Tells the Stories Defines the Culture”.

or…

I also like to say “Whoever Tells the Story, Controls the Narrative.”

So who are you letting tell your story? Who is telling your community story?

It is essential for us to share our stories, and to speak our stories instead of letting others tell their interpretation of it. We share our life lessons, knowledge, traditions, and even our humor through our stories. If our ancestors did not share stories, some of us may not be here today. Most of all, share your story, because it matters, you matter, and no one can tell it the way you can…

The Powerful Reason You Should Tell Your Story

Today’s post is going to be a little different. Instead of focusing on the mechanics of writing, I’m going to dive into something more important: you need to tell your story. Here’s why. For a lot of us, this has been a rough year, a tiring year, a painful year.

Something Needed

Image of a single flower in the snow.
Spring Awakening

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann

This resonates with me today. We all have stories…

p.s. Desiderata is the plural form of Desideratum and means “things wanted or needed”. 

Our Arts in Storytelling

Our traditional arts have been a way to share stories and we can continue to use our arts to help share stories in a cancer basics online course I helped develop. We use many handmade Alaska Native dolls who share about cancer and help bring understanding to such a hard topic; we are using our traditional art in a new ways 💛

Cancer Basics Course

Check out this article about Telling Stories through Corn Husk Dolls, which inspired this post 💛

Corn Husk

 

Are you using storytelling in your community work?

Storytelling is where it’s at – use it as a part of your community outreach and organizing.

1. Use storytelling as a community development strategy. (Build awareness and address critical local issues!)

2. Use storytelling as an instrument for citizen empowerment. (Empowers community members!!)

Storytelling is an excellent tool to get your community voices heard!