Stories form the fabric of our world.
They are the underlying meaning making structure by which culture and societies either thrive or decline.
To tell stories is one thing.
To make them come alive is another.
This is where story-making comes in.
Story-making is the process where action speaks louder than words and life experimentation leads to learning and tangible change.
To make new stories come alive from the dreams, visions, and aspirations that we have, we must be willing to break out of our comfort zones, take risks and ultimately take action to create new realities.
But how many of us are really willing to do that?
Until we are, it is very unlikely that any major changes will manifest in our lives or the lives of those around us.
When we are all engaged in individual and collective storytelling, without the follow up action that catalyses storymaking, we can experience stagnation or worse, complete collapse as the old stories become ‘hollow words’ that fail to create evolution.
As an example, our economic, political, and social systems have been operating from a story of competition and separation for millennia. As a result, we have developed worldviews and systems within which we live, that reflect these values and principles at their core.
Yet very few people are happy with the story we are living.
Despite there being many ‘new stories’ being expounded by various people all the time, rarely do these narratives result in the speed of action and change promised as they are often marginalised and discredited by those who have a vested interest in perpetuating the dominant narrative. Think about how many new inventions or scientific breakthroughs have been blocked and silenced simply because they threatened the status quo.
Stories that separate through assuming polarised positions of ‘right and wrong’, ‘bad and good’ and ‘us and them’ are rooted in dominant power structures that will fight for survival at any price.
So how do we change this?
If so many of us are unhappy about the narrative waters within which we are living, what does it take for us to change them?
The answer, I believe comes from the idea that small actions that ripple out to create major waves of transformation.
These last few years have seen large cracks appearing in the old dominant stories across every country in our world.
Many of us have taken a step back and started to ask new questions about the medical, political, and social stories that we are being fed.
Many of us have stopped dining at the same media restaurants that we have eaten at for years.
Because they are making us ill.
To stop and question is the first stage in storymaking.
To decide on a new course of action is the next.
Trying new ways of thinking and acting follows and ultimately creates new experiences (storymaking) that flow into new ways of describing the change in perspective we are experiencing (storytelling).
My friend has a saying that “life must at some point become action”.
Unless we are willing to follow up our aspirational stories with action, nothing will ever change.
Not for us.
Not for our communities.
Not for our world.
So what action are you willing to take to bring to life a story you long for?
Is the risk of trying something new, worth the potential of that story changing your life?
I think so.
I feel so.
I know so.
Let’s become both storymakers and storytellers.
And watch the whole world change.