What Stories Still Need Telling?

Self expression isn’t always easy.  Maybe that’s why I admire those who openly exhibit an apparently unshakable confidence to be themselves. 

It’s easy not to realize that behind outwardly confident people there are probably many encounters with ignorant people than most people are even aware. 

It seems that in life, it’s almost impossible to escape criticism entirely.  The schoolyard “Sticks and Stones” saying and the online advice of “Don’t feed the trolls” is only a small part of the story.

Sometimes scarier that just the verbal assault of a bully or an online troll is the scarier form of this which is extremist ideologues, a.k.a. people that are on a mission to push their own agenda as being the only correct agenda and will use any means available to acheive their outcomes.

Granted, it is not easy for some people to be tolerant of points-of-view that are diametrically opposed to their own, especially when it comes to political, religious, economic ideologies, or any ideology for that matter.

Let me clarify that I’m not saying that all ideologues are bullies, because there is a huge difference between an ideologue who is mature and tolerant and one who is an irrational extremist.

Conventional wisdom is to not even bother fighting the sorts of battles that you’ll never win. It sucks to hear that sometimes the bad guys win, especially when things escalate beyond just name-calling.

Optimists may point out that losing the battle isn’t the same as losing the war.  But to those lost in the battle, unfortunately the outcome of the war does become rather irrelevant. 

Everyone has a right to choose where their loyalties lie. There will be people on both sides of almost every argument who will never give up their loyalties. 

And, different ideologues have different ideas about what they are fighting for.  Some simply seek support for their ideas, while others seek apologies, and others want you to join or leave their group, to just name a few.  But there are also those that seek more extreme outcomes as well.

There are tribes on all sides of every argument.  It’s great to have a tribe on your side.  But that’s where I see is an ugly side of tribes, too. It’s scary to know that the enemy has a tribe on his side, too.

New technologies allow for the easy expression of many different points of view, many that may not align with our own. 

People will believe who and what they want to believe.  Yet I feel that it is still important to get our unique stories out.  Giving both or all sides of the story allows people to decide for themselves who or what they want to believe, especially those people who want or need to understand others sides of an argument, too. 

Isn’t that how we work to encourage tolerance, e.g., how advocacy against bullying and acceptance is growing through movements like the “It Gets Better Project”?

It is unfortunate how it is often easier to find the negative one-sided stories than to find the  more balanced or first-hand accounts of a story.

But there are stories to be told about all sides of situations.  And, there are people that want to hear the other side of the story, too.

Maybe it’s easier to tell a story than to fight a fight?  Maybe story telling is how we fight some fights.  Maybe we can only know what value our stories provide by telling them? Maybe the recent movie, “The Help”, is one example of this? 

What other stories still need telling?  That’s something that I’m going to give some more thought to. What about you?

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