Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Guideline for Working with a Group's Stories - Part 7 of 9

7. Be open, respectful, and non-judgmental of the stories people share

Treat all stories with respect. When someone shares a story they have given us a part of themselves. Handle it accordingly. The fragile pieces of our identity rest in our narratives. Never feel entitled to know anyone’s story. People will share what they want, when they are ready, and in a manner that does not violate their sense of themselves. However, you will be surprised at how willing and eager people are to exit the precarious myth of their separateness and embrace a sense of belonging granted by tying their experiences to those of others in a tapestry of shared consciousness.

The most vivid pictures we own are the stories in our hearts. Stories support a lattice of human experience. Each new story acts as a tendril tying us to the past, making the present significant, and giving shape to the future. Stories by their nature are a microcosm of who and how we are, so be sure you’re always respectful and non-judgmental. We can never fully understand the mysteries of someone else’s journey. Stories have no need to compete with one another and stories exist to coexist with each other. Act as an unbiased, self-aware, gracious curator and stories will usher in a cornucopia of delights and wisdom.

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Thank You!
Adding your stories and thoughts to this conversation is enriching for everyone.