I’m not certain of much, but I do believe this: Stories Matter.
I think that in such uncertain times, our stories matter more than ever.
Right now, the stories circulating between friends and family and over the news and internet are having a profound effect on each of us.
The world no longer has enough toilet paper, and it’s probably worth fighting over what little remains on shelves. Mother Nature is taking a deep breath thanks to the sudden and rapid decrease in human economic activity. The virus is nothing more than a common cold blown out of proportion by media outlets. We are facing the greatest challenge of our generation, a foe that will unite us and make us stronger.
All of these and more are stories I’ve come across in the past few weeks. Any could be backed up by no shortage of articles, opinions, facts, life coach gurus, and more.
I’m a firm believer that we need balance in our stories, just as we need balance in so many other aspects of our lives.
It’s never been easier to get sucked into a vicious whirlpool of negative stories. And I don’t think we should hide from them, either. It’s important to remember those who have lost their jobs, or worse, their loved ones. As inconsequential as it seems, I think it’s even important for us to tell stories of toilet paper shortages. Because even that story helps us understand ourselves and our world.
But it’s never been more important to remember the lights in our world. I think of the ER doctors, nurses, and staff reporting to work knowing the risks, not just to themselves but potentially to their loved ones. I think of my neighbors, checking in on one another to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. I think of my three year old daughter, who has no clue what is happening and is simply delighted that her mother is home more.
We also have the ability to write our own stories. Many of us are now having more family time than we are used to. While it comes with new stresses, it also brings opportunity. Today I enjoyed an hour of playing with play-dough with my daughter. I’ve met (at appropriate distances) more of my neighbors in the last week than I have in the last year.
Our stories matter.
The world is a terrible place.
And it’s a beautiful one.
Let’s not forget to tell stories that reflect both aspects.