The Importance of Stories

Dear Engaged Bystanders: I am fascinated with stories. In high school we had to learn about Greek mythology and I learned about the power of storytelling. Centuries later (or am I just feeling old), we still have a sense of how this ancient culture thought about love, life, and war. Storytelling is how one generation teaches values to the next.

"Stories are how people make sense of themselves and their worlds. For this reason, stories are political. Whose stories get told? What can those stories mean? Who benefits from their telling? These are political questions because they... determine how we live together and how laws are created." (Shannon, 1995)

The stories that are told will make a huge difference in our lives and in our policies. In my career, I have been moved by the incredible strength, resiliency, and tenacity of survivors of sexual violence. I find inspiration with the men and women I meet. I am equally inspired by their friends and families.

At this point, I literally have thousands of stories in my head from focus groups, friends, starting and supervising a helpline for 10 years and what I've read in the media. I have an idea about the power of these stories and I want to share some of the more amazing and inspirational stories with you. I hope to post a new one for you to read at the end of each week. Stay tuned!


PS Please feel free to write to me as well about YOUR story.

Filed under