I want you to take a moment to reflect on the story that we might tell of this time. Cast your mind ahead and look back, what version of these events will be told? Which chapter will we write together?
I have been pondering on the idea of collective storytelling recently. Perhaps this stems from my exploration of perspective
and how we are grappling with isolation and remoteness.
Although we are experiencing an unprecedented global event our communities will likely tell different stories of this time.
What will be your community’s story? Will it be of the virus? Or will your community story be chapterised by: compassion; empathy; generosity; resilience; innovation and relationships.
Activating purpose is impossible without storytelling ~ John Coleman
Years from now how will our storytelling be instructive, purposeful and add value? How will it be pointed reminders of our collective commitment to a set of values that can resist a global pandemic?
But I wonder about the story artefacts we create. We need to combine our reflections, ponderings and general musings into a coherent narrative, as well as a tangible artefact. How will you capture this experience in concrete form?
In Japan the landscape is dotted with large stone storytelling monuments dating back to the 1890s. 10 ft high stone tablets tell the catastrophic story of past tsunamis. Reminding locals of the dire consequences and instructing them not to build.
High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants. Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point. ~ Aneyoshi village.
These monuments have directly saved lives in more recent events, instructing people to seek higher ground and as a warning across generations.
Perhaps the story you tell together makes a recommitment to what you still believe is important. Maybe it articulates what you value the most as a community. Even better, the story artefact endures and instructs in equal measure.
Whatever your story is, making room for reflective listening, dialogue and thoughtful consideration of our experience might be just as important as what gets carved in stone.