This is a reblog from Ido Lanuel’s blog on his take on the the war that is effecting his area of the world.. Below are my thoughts on his post.
Storytelling is one of the oldest and most impactful forms of human communication. We are compelled by well told stories, we are moved by their messages and we are drawn to their mystique. Great stories of adventure, mystery, and drama are the makings of Hollywood movies, blockbuster books and Broadway plays.
There is another kind of storytelling. This kind is more subtle and yet, for many of us, it is a major driving force in our lives. This is the storytelling that we use to identify ourselves. We all have stories in our mind that we have collected over our lifetime that we use to define who we are.
There are two sources of these stories. The first is from our own experiences or at least how we internalized those experiences. You know the kind…”Oh I never speak in front of an audience. I had a bad experience in high school and I have been terrified ever since”, “I have a weight problem because I can’t stay away from cake”, “I’ve never been good at writing. I just can’t put the words together. It’s just such a struggle that I don’t even bother”.
The other source is the society and culture that we live in. As we grow up, we hear stories about how “our people” or “our family” have certain norms or expectations that we follow or believe in. “That’s just the way I act. What can I say, I’m Italian”, “Our family has always had bad luck with money”. These can also be more personal such as “You are never going to be good at that. Don’t even try”, “You are always acting up in class. You are an unfocused person”, “Don’t even bother trying; you don’t have the voice for that”.
At some point I want to write a post about the personal stories. These are a huge factor in how far we go in life because people use their personal stories to either propel them forward in life or keep themselves stuck.
For this post, I want to focus on the societal stories. Ido is close to the war in the Middle East. He created the attached image and wrote the material on the image as a way to describe why he thought that war is still going on in his region of the world.
The reason that he gives is because of stories. These are the stories that are defined by the cultures of the two sides of the conflict.
This conflict is the one between Palestine and Israel. Why does this conflict continue? Because stories have built up on both side about how someone of a different culture has perpetrated against “our people” in the past. Furthermore, because “those people” are a part of that culture, they will continue to perpetrate against us.
This is just a story. Tony Robbins says that “your story may be true, but it’s not what’s happening today”. In other words, yes what happened in your story may have actually happened (or at least you perceived it that way), but that doesn’t mean that the same thing needs to be happening now. If you decided to change the story or not live from the same story of the past or of your ancestor’s past, might the situation you are currently in be different?
We are raised to believe that “I am part of this culture and this is the way that I am”. Really? We all come from the same source. We are all born with the same potential and the basic capabilities. It is merely the stories that we are taught along the way that separate us.
For example, let’s use the conflict mentioned above between Palestine and Israel. If you took a baby from each country and allowed them to grow up together without the influence of the stories from either’s cultures, do you think that they would just naturally hate each other and decide to go to war with one another. Of course not. If those babies grew up and then came to know of the stories of their respective cultures and how each culture was treating the other, they would be shocked. I imagine that they would be appalled at how their countrymen were behaving.
In his post, Ido makes a profound statement at the end:
“It is a call for each and every one of us to take a deep look inside, and see for himself if a story is worth suffering for. If we are willing to tell our babies the same stories that we’ve been told.”
It is up to each one of us to decide not to let our lives be dictated by our old stories. We can decide to write a new one with what we want to be happening in our life now. More importantly, we can decide which stories we carry forth to our children so that they don’t repeat the same mistakes that our generation and the ones before us have made.
Thank you Ido for the thought provoking post. Stay safe!