I have been thinking a great deal about stories versus facts the last several weeks. Part of this stirring in my imagination began with hearing Douglas Rushkoff speak.
He made this comment that those who tell the best stories captivate and compell the people. He referenced the Ewoks. Remember that when boys landed on their planet with R2-D2 and C3PO in tow, the Ewoks took them prisoner. But by the time they were done telling stories (mainly C3PO and R2-D2), they had new allies in fighting the "evil Empire"? Rushkoff asked, "What if Darth Vader and his cronies arrived on the planet first? Would the Ewoks have been compelled by their plight to join them? After all, the Republic had become unmanageable and the rebels were causing such a stink. Would the Ewoks have served the Dark Side instead?"
This got me to thinking about how people change. I have always felt that truth might have the strongest potency in helping people live their lives. That is, I always thought truth would be the most compelling thing to people simply because it is...well...true.
So I gathered scattered facts (thinking that fact and truth are the same...ha!) and presented my case to people. I never understood why telling people that thousands of people are dying in africa everyday seldom compelled people to live off less and give away more. I guess this also helps shed light on how–even after so many facts about the Bush cronies and their policies and the corruptions are presented–people are still behind their guy.
My point is that sheer fact does little to nothing in getting people to change their paradigms or lives.
But story does.
So Rushkoff said it's time to re-learn the sacred art of storytelling...and stop telling the same damn story. Allow your imagination to re-imagine and re-create the world, to frame the questions differently, to remind you that you don't need that... or perhaps even want that. Stop settling for what everyone's saying... that that's just the way life goes or that's just they way things work. Perhaps it doesn't have to go that way.
Stop swallowing their cliché, as if it's the only way, it's overplayed...
And support artists, writers, screenwriters, poets who are creative subversive art, who are telling new stories.