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David Brake
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Great perspective, Ralph. Couldn't agree more. This class has been a transformative experience for me. What pleasure it has been to hear you and others in our class transport us to moments in your lives and see those experiences from their eyes.
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Thanks for sharing this Mark. A few years ago, I was asked to be on the board of a non-profit called LIFE STORY LIBRARY foundation. The organization's goal is to archive personal stories--narrative, photos, video, audio--that help others experience a slice of life from another time or another environment/culture. The foundation has done some work with ANSCESTORY.COM, the same folks who do DNA testing and promote family history research. I think DNA testing and assembling family trees and history is interesting. But what's more interesting IMO, are the stories of the people, the things that happened in their lives between their DOB and death. The stories give context and value to the dates and family relationships. You made me think. Thanks.
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Well said, Sally. I have learned a lot about the people in our class and felt connected in ways that have really surprised me. Liz has facilitated a "safe space" to share and discuss things that we generally don't take the time to learn from others. I recently attended, and even told a story, at a storytelling gathering at a coffee shop in downtown Phoenix. Some of the stories were shocking ... raw and punctuated with language that I would never use in "polite company." But I learned that the venue was a trusted "safe space" for the people who attended and told. They clearly felt free to be "Me." Most of the stories did not have much structure. Some of them even lacked an ending. But they were authentic, and the people who shared their personal stories were, for a few minutes, in a place with people who cared and who wanted to, more than anything else, be affirmed for being themselves.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2018 on Back Again by Sally Borg at Tell Me Something Good
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Thanks Joyce, enjoyed your post. I've found that people tend to have a narrative about their lives, events, and other people that they tend to reinforce with "evidence" or facts that support what they want to believe. I think this is called "confirmation bias." I've found that almost everyone does it. If you hate your boss or love your spouse or think the Florida Gulf Coast has the best beaches, you'll drift toward evidence that supports or confirms your bias. This is one reason our President can deride the "fake news" when it doesn't conform to his worldview. Truth is, I do believe there is a lot of fake news, although I don't generally agree with our President regarding the purveyors of that fake news. There is also news--and a lot of it--from Facebook friends and other social media connections that reflects the "truths" or biases of those sharing it. It may be impossible to ever know the "real truth," but I think if we can try and understand the truth of others, to see their perspective, the world would be a better place. Most people may not take the time to do that. It's easier to look for things that support what we already believe or want to believe. Your post really made me think. Thank you.
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Great article. As we think about how advertisers use stories to sell us things and promote causes, authenticity becomes crucial. Aristotle "wanted us to look beyond the seductive beauty of the Victoria Secret model or the rippled abs of the professional athlete. Do they really use the deodorant or is he/she just talking about it because they get paid to talk about it? Aristotle wants us to ask three questions of anybody who makes a pitch to us: 1) Does she really believe what she says she believes, 2) If she believes it do they also live it? 3) If they believe it and live it, what difference does it really make in their lives? These questions are good ones to ask ourselves we tell stories that embody our deepest values and vision." That's why so many advertisers use celebrities to promote products and causes. The belief is that we have already made some kind of connection with these people because of the characters they play on TV and in film. Ironically, we are basing our trust and connection with these people on traits of fictional characters. Do we really know the real Dennis Quaid or the real Jennifer Lopez? It's perhaps a sad commentary on how easily some of us can be manipulated. On the opposite side of that coin, these celebrity stories and endorsements can make you cynical. When Jennifer Lopez does a video for Children's Miracle Network asking for donations to help kids, and she appears with gads of bling adorning her wrists, neck, and fingers ... some people have a disconnect with her message. She, for me anyway, seems less authentic ... even though I know personally that she is sincere about the cause. It's hard to convince someone to be on your side if you perceive the storyteller as someone who is more concerned about their ego than the cause. It's great to see personal storytelling taking a more prominent role in political ads and cause-related marketing. It still comes down to authenticity and vulnerability. We relate to the underdog. We relate to ONE PERSON telling a personal story that is real, that conveys greater meaning and universal lessons that will touch each listener in the same but different ways. The same is true of consumer reviews and ratings. Angie, co-founder of Angie's list has pointed out that "the context of the review is so much more important than pie charts and graphs showing composite scores." Not that ratings are unimportant, but people want and need to hear the stories behind the ratings. Aristotle was on to something, and even though he could not imagine our day of social media, fake news, and "influence marketing," he understood the human condition, something that has not, at its core, changed over the millennia.
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Thanks for sharing this Brooke. It really made me think in how searching for our roots and links to the past we can lose sight of the present. I look at life as though it were a bustling festival of different people, sights, smells, and sounds. If we try too hard to disaggregate these things into individual elements, we can lose the very thing that makes us human. It's kind of like reverse engineering a particular dish/meal that you have really enjoyed. Trying to break it down into the individual elements that comprise the complete dish can distract us from enjoying it for how it looks, smells, and makes us feel. Appreciate your insights. David Brake
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Excellent post, John. Nice overview of Ong's book. I especially like your emphasis on the primacy of the spoken word and how the myriad ways we communicate today are mere technologies that are secondary to God's gift to us of THE WORD. Indeed, in the beginning was THE WORD. And yes, it is ironic that you share insights about the importance of the aural word using a digital platform, but it also speaks to the fact that these digital technologies when used properly have their place. Thanks for sharing. David Brake
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Aug 28, 2018