I recently gave a short workshop on digital and social media and public narratives. In preparing I accumulated some resources but also began to think deeply again (or reconsider) the issue of hope in the stories we tell. I have often fallen into the easy trap of telling naively hopeful stories. These kinds of stories come naturally, I think, and do not necessitate a deep reflection into harder truths or events. But in framing these stories as part of a public narrative, a narrative that demands honest reflection in the creation of a story of self, the resulting arc of hope that flows from the story assumes a more critical stance.
As I was waiting in the airport last week, I wrote this:
“We forget, too often, that we speak the world – that language (in a broad sense) can birth the new.
Too often the stories we tell are too small, too modest, too safe. The heart has to break and in that breaking open learn new words, tell new stories.”
The honest stories of self that we all have can, in the telling and hearing, insure that our arc of hope is critical but not despairing.
A few resources:
What is public narrative (pdf) Marshall Ganz
Crafting your public narrative – from a climate change perspective (pdf) is a very good document with reflections, tips and templates for creating stories of self,us and now.
Public narrative, collective action and power (pdf) Marshall Ganz
Why stories matter Marshall Ganz