LL made the following comment on the previous post: “I think it’s interesting to consider that stories can either bind us or tear us apart. I hadn’t really considered the latter.”
I just sort of threw that statement at the end of my last post, but I think it does deserve additional attention. When I said they can tear us apart, I meant it on several different levels.
1) When we tell ourselves stories about individual people (aka make assumptions) it can often lead to issues where there are not and separation when it’s undeserved.
2) When we tell others stories – true or not – that are hurtful to those in the story (aka gossip and slander), we tear our community apart.
3) When we tell ourselves as a group (or individual) stories that dwell on the negative, we can destroy ourselves. For example, telling ourselves we are failures, even based upon our history, can produce a vicious cycle. Or even one of my friends who wrote a business book says this of corporations: “(Storytelling) is often misused in organizations to reinforce and protect their weakness. Furtherore, an organization that has a habit of telling a high percentage of negative stories about itself is in danger of being destroyed from within.” (Corporate Legends and Lore, Peg Neuhauser).
Storytelling wields great power, and should be used intentionally to build up community, not recklessly without thought.