Lance Scranton: What’s your story?
Time and time again, it’s the story that really matters. The most effective communicators tell stories every chance they get to drive home their point. I read a Friday story every week to drive home the importance of having an “unstoppable” attitude toward life. Most kids really appreciate the few valuable minutes that we spend learning about fellow classmates who have gone before them and have made use of the wise words they heard in high school.
The stories that get short shrift are the ones that we fail to tell because we’re too embarrassed or don’t think that others need to know about, or are unimportant. Unfortunately, our story usually ends up hurting us in other ways unless we deal with the narrative so that we can move forward in a healthy way. Shrift is an archaic word with a powerful meaning. The act of “shriving” was used to describe the absolution or remission of sins on the spiritual road to reconciliation. The word was later invoked to describe someone who isn’t given any sympathy or is treated carelessly.
Your story doesn’t have to be shared on Facebook (too many are already) and it can be as simple as sharing it with a trusted friend. The important feature of your story is the “why” and it is the determining factor in your move forward. Moving forward for too many is simply moving on. Too many people in our culture and society discount the “why” in favor of the how. How we move forward is where the future lies (pun intended) and countless books are written that explore the necessary steps for our need to progress.
Progress is a good thing if it reveals in us a firm understanding of where we have been and why we have arrived at this point. Too many people discount the importance of really understanding why things happen and how it affects their treatment of others. Too often short shrift is the result of never dealing with the “why” because sometimes it’s painful but it has far-reaching effects on our treatment of ourselves and others.
Stories have been written throughout history about the importance of stories and how our stories reflect who we are, what we value and why we make the decisions that we do in the course of life. Our story really does define who we are, what we become, and how we treat others. In the final analysis, you can’t rewrite your story (many have tried) but you can deal with the why and move forward knowing that how we treat each other is the direct result of the narrative we play continually as we go through life. So, what is your story? It’s really important!
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