Monday, March 14, 2011

Why we do what we do...

The power of stories is that they allow us to personally identify (in other words "connect") with the character and situations being shared with us. Character are often represented as icons... exaggerated and sometimes simplified aspects of ourselves. This simplification allows us to break down complex ideas and examine what they mean to us.

Complexity and "gray issues" are interesting to us only after we have achieved an understanding of the more obvious traits and solutions - but only if the listener had the confidence to have their "knowledge" challenged. The more we identify with a character and the more that character grows and changes, the more likely we are to be open to the same.

We all seek the same things: Love and acceptance, a purpose larger than ourselves, the freedom to grow and create, and the ability to triumph over adversity. Many of our iconic stories deal with these needs. Even tragic stories often hold a degree of triumph. And they serve to remind us of our mortality... to deliver a message of awareness... a warning to either stop and think things through... or to follow your heart, despite the evidence. Which solution is best is left to the judgment of the listener. But all decisions have consequences. Stories share those consequences with us without having to personally risk great loss. And yet, they allow us to feel a degree of the possible triumph.

It is by way of the taste of this triumph through perseverance that our stories can inspire growth. It is the growth of the human spirit through deeper understanding that defines our purpose.

We create stories and through them, we connect our listeners (players and students) to an aspect of themselves. We ask only that they help shape the story... sharing a part of themselves with those around them... and receiving in kind.

Our stories are not our objective. The lives we touch and inspire are what we seek and leave behind. We create stories so that others may learn... and perhaps pass them on... or better yet, feel empowered to create and live their own.

This moment of growth and self knowledge is more than our purpose... it is our legacy.

Meghan Gardner
Guard Up Inc.

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