Friday, January 9, 2015

Storytelling and TED Talks

Earlier this week, a friend and mentor sent me this link: As libraries become cultural hubs, TEDx events bring the community in. I have considered hosting a TEDx at the library, but right now it is the formative stage. 
This morning as I was showering, I began to ponder why I am so drawn to TED Talks and feel the need to comment on them after viewing.  I let that roll around in my brain for a bit and then suddenly I had an epiphany:  TED Talkers are our modern storytellers.  
I love hearing stories and storytelling.  In fact, I believe that stories are vital to our humanity.  I am certainly no Joseph Campbell--he is one of my heroes.  But I believe that humans created stories to make sense of the world and that those motifs that are important to us as humans can be found in stories around the world.
For example the Cinderella story can be found in innumerable cultures.  What does the Cinderella story teach us about the world:  Life is not always fair--and events happen that we don't have control over. But we have control over how we respond to these circumstances and if we remain true to ourselves, continue to have hope, faith and perseverance eventually the balance will eventually shift.  When it does we need to remember the compassion that we would have enjoyed during our darkest hours.  Furthermore, the story also tells us that we can't go it on our own, we need help to achieve our dreams.  
Each year, I host two Mother Daughter Teas.  During the Tea, I always tell my story of a mother that always took time to show her TomBoy of a daughter how beautiful the world can be.  I tell the story that I host the teas in her honor and that by sharing the planning of them with her, she is with me. I explain the importance of storytelling and encourage the mothers and daughters to share their own stories with each other.  I explain that through stories we learn to bridge the divide from being a Homo Sapien to becoming a human (OK so I don't use those exact words during the Tea).  Afterwards, I share several themed stories from around the world.
I let them know that the art of storytelling is endanger of falling by the wayside--or so I thought. I have spent the day in renewed hope.  With TED Talks and TEDx Events, storytelling is alive and well.  The number of people in audience of TED Talks and the growing number of TEDx Events around the world, demonstrates the need people have for hearing stories that can teach us to be the better part of our dual natures.
“As technology becomes more and more prevalent in our daily lives, it’s easier and easier for us to only interact with people who think like us,” says Barr. “For our democracy and our way of life to function, we need to develop skills of compromise and consensus building by working with people — thinking with people, talking with people — that are a little out of our comfort zone.” "  
In my opinion this is the role that storytelling has always played in our (humanity's) lives.   The world is a better place when we tell stories so that we can learn compassion how to recognize the wolf and the witch especially those within us.
What a pleasing Ahh-ha moment it was this morning.

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