Telling a simple story

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A distinguished man of letters once described himself as a “public teller of stories”. Simple as that term might seem to be, it isn’t simplistic. Everyone has stories to tell, and those tales can be told in private, intimate moments as well as in public.

Due to the way that human history has run its course, most of us are brought up to measure the value of narratives based on the identities of people doing the telling. People in positions of power tend to have more listeners than those who occupy humble places in life.

Does this mean the worldviews and narratives of marginalised folks are of less importance? A lot of the media, religious and even educational institutions are likely to peddle this point of view. Yet at other times we are told we are all equal in the eyes of our creator.

For those who communicate through symbols, every art form is used to tell stories of one sort or another. The artist can take charge of the situation and present authentic narratives or he could choose to fit into the worldview of others, to present stories she thinks they want to hear.

Being authentic in communication isn’t an automatic passport to remarkable work, but it makes more sense to speak one’s truth in the long run. After all, why is it worth investing time and energy in developing the skills to communicate if one cannot share what one truly feels?