I went to a storytelling event. It was really amazing to hear all of the stories… There was sadness, happiness, and mystery in all of them.
The biggest thing I took away was not from a story though – it was from the dog. When I was younger I was afraid of dogs. It took me a long time to get comfortable with dogs but now I am often the person a dog will spend most of the night getting rubs from. I like to think it’s because I am vegan.
Usually when I am with an animal ( dog, cat… any animal) I try to lure it closer to me, to sit on my lap or next to where I am sitting. I realized that instead of trying to force the dog to sit by me, I could move to accommodate the dog. And I did. I got to sit in a new place and discover something new. By listening I find that I can discover so much : )
Does narrative create a limited worldview?
Are we taught from a young age to recognize stereotypes and project them onto other people?
In social justice work, sometimes “ignorance is bliss”. Sometimes it is easier to ignore a problem than it is to try to fix it, especially with large scale world issues (like poverty, disease… I notice this mentality so much being a vegan [and I used to experience it more than I do now])… So perhaps if we apply social justice to storytelling, short-form media is “taking the easy way out”. By relying on stock characters and stereotypes the creative doesn’t have to do the work of developing a “real” character. There isn’t time to in the realm of a short film. Details are either left out, or filled in by cultural and societal cues.
“It’s just rare to come upon a role that feels like a real human being.”
– Joseph Gordon-Levitt (on Ellen)
Or maybe, it isn’t limiting us. Maybe it is training us… to look beyond the surface and to seek for ourselves… or to challenge us to differentiate characters from human beings. We are all infinite.
Oh, and speaking of stereotypes…
I love when people tell me stories, or read to me. That’s probably why my amazing Mom read me bedtime stories even into my high school years hehe. Reading was always an important thing we shared haha. It’s nice to just listen to the sound of someone’s voice sometimes : )
video via http://viiaadores.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/heather-and-the-unicorn-inner-child-poetry-simon-welsh/