Richard Monroe, Community Colleges Division Representative
September 30, 2019
"Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach, and wisdom to share...Life is a beautiful masterpiece bound together by your experiences. Open up and share your story; become an inspiration to others. You can make a difference because you matter. You were created with purpose. Live your life with intention, go out there and make a difference by being the difference." (Koulouris, 2012)
Every day, we have the exceptional opportunity to work alongside students and colleagues who may all have a story to tell. You, the reader, may also have a story that needs to be told. Your narrative may one day inspire others, or help someone in their time of need. You never know what opening up, or listening to someone may do for that person and yourself. All it necessitates is taking a moment to listen or to share your experience. Know that when you take some time to connect with those around you, it may not only help reassure you that you are making a difference, but it may inspire you to want to do more.
I have the chance to work with and alongside some remarkable colleagues and wonderful students who all have a different walk of life, and a story to tell. These individual stories help to define who a person was, where they came from, where they are now, and who they may potentially be in the future. What happens from that moment on, all depends on how that individual responds to the situations they encounter; and that pinnacle decision point is where their story will change. When you remember to share your story, if and when the opportunity arises, do it. You never know if someone is experiencing the same reality that you have already been through, and may be able to help encourage them on their journey.
The best part of this story is, this is exactly where your part of the story begins. As humans, we can relate to stories, and connecting with others is beyond just physical. When we hear stories, different parts of our brains start to activate. According to Leo Widrich's lifehacker.com blog, "whenever we hear a story, we want to relate it to one of our existing experiences. That's why metaphors work so well with us. While we are busy searching for a similar experience in our brains, we activate a part called insula, which helps us relate to that same experience of pain, joy, or disgust."
We live in an age where many people tell stories, but when someone tells their story it becomes more impactful to others. Whether the story is told via a social media outlet, through text, or in-person all change how the story is received by the reader. It seems that people seem to more naturally connect to genuine stories, rather than stories that are not factual or made-up. "For over 27,000 years, since the first cave paintings were discovered, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods" (Widrich, 2012).
Today I would encourage you to go back to the basics and make yourself available to listen to someone's story, or take a moment and tell someone your story. You may never know how precious those few moments are to someone or yourself. Be the difference for someone today!
Koulouris, M. (2012, October 6). Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach, and wisdom to share. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://positiveandinspirationalquotes.blogspot.com/2012/10/everyone-has-story-to-tell-lesson-to.html
Widrich, L. (2012, December 5). The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-5965703
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