Saturday 27 August 2016

We all have a story to tell...

All of us at some point in our lives have looked back and thought “Wow, I could write a book about it, make millions and live the rest of it in a mansion in the European countryside with tons of books, a cackling fireplace and a purring cat (or rather lots of purring cats)”. Okay, I got a little carried away in my version. We all have our versions. It’s amazing what each of us have gone through, good and bad, encouraging and humiliating. There are little things that hold deep significance for us. We find it impossible to explain why they do so and more often they remain buried deep inside the things we say and do, hardly ever talked about.
Storytelling is as old as humanity. The desire to speak and listen of events and people, real or imaginary is something which comes naturally to us. People have used this natural inclination to entertain irritating children, earn lots of money, get someone killed, get themselves killed, earn the favour of a king and quite frankly the list is endless if you understand where I’m going.

Not only do we like to tell stories, in fact we need to tell them. That is why tangled in urban jungles where every man is an island we end up paying therapists just so that they’d listen to us! Just the act of ‘letting it out’ is therapeutic. I recently came across a video of a man from New York who was paying passers-by a dollar for their story. The idea being that we have gotten so busy with our lives that we no longer care to listen to the problems of others. We are the victims and perpetrators of the same crime.

A few hours before writing this, I witnessed an outburst by a relative who I adore very much, regarding how she was treated as a teenage girl several years ago. A lot of it was new and unsettling for me. Parts of it I suspect, I’d deliberately forgotten because it involved individuals who I thought of as brightly monochromatic. That is how we think of our elders as kids – they are either good or bad(those who don’t get you toys or chocolates) Your story therefore is important because your story will help me see things that I was oblivious to throughout my life or maybe point me in a direction that I knew but had forgotten. Your story can help me realize my mistake.

Hence not only is it necessary for you to tell your story but it is necessary for me that you do so and by me I mean all of us. It might be silly for you but it might as well be a lesson for someone else. Never underestimate the power of your experience told with honesty and humility. The basic premise of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank couldn’t be any less promising – the diary of a fourteen year old girl stuck in a hideout with nowhere to go and no one to meet apart from a few people. Yet it is a beautiful and more importantly, a relatable story. Its beauty is enhanced by its universality.

Don’t be afraid to tell your story to the world and at the same time I would request you to be kind enough to listen to other people’s story because you cannot expect from someone that you do not give. It would help you to reflect upon this. Maybe it would show you ways that you hadn’t seen till now?  

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