Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stories - Telling them and Hearing them

I was listening to an interview with writer Hanif Kureshi recently and he said something that has become one of my favorite quotes. "It's a kind of love to tell your story."

Isn't that true? Our stories are one of the only things we really have.

When I became a journalist, what I really wanted to do was tell stories. They just came in the form of news. But it was really all about stories.

When I meet people, what I really want is to hear their stories. No one ever wants to show me their wedding photo album a second time because I have a million questions about who is who and how they're related. I'm one of those people. I want to hear the stories.

I want the real stories. Not what you do for a living. Not who you know. Not who you're related to. I want to know who you are. What you think about. How you make decisions. What made you the person you are today. How you were different ten years ago. What you want - deep down, desperately - that you never speak aloud.

People have amazing stories to tell. In fact, the kinds of lives people create can be astonishing. They can go on adventures you would never imagine, engage with the world in a way we'd never think of. Others take on the task of creating a stable future through a new generation - another task I cannot imagine taking on. The old adage about "it takes all kinds" is never more true than when used in this context.

One thing I learned early is that everyone has a story. And it's a good one. It will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. Everyone you know has a story that would cause you to weep and one that would cause you to rejoice. We humans are fascinating things. And we all have a story.

Will you tell me yours?


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