This week I was listening to Krista Tippett, Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, and New York Times best-selling author, on The Tim Ferriss Show.
Something Krista said in the past was discussed. She said, “I can disagree with your opinion, it turns out, but I can’t disagree with your experience.”
She talked about setting up a safe place for discussing topics that people have strong opinions about.
She said, “Answer the question through the story of your life. Then we would actually start talking about eventually the things we need to start talking about. Including economics and our children’s futures and the fact that we have a shared stake in all of our children’s futures.”
We each have a story. That story determines what we enjoy, who we are drawn to, what we like to eat, what issues make us take action, what we think of ourselves, and how we live our lives. Our story defines who we are.
Yet sometimes we are not even conscious of our own story. We do things on autopilot without dissecting what makes us think the way we do.
We often picture ourselves on the bank of a river, watching life rush past. But as Sam Harris and Tara Brach discussed in a recent meditation, we are not on the bank. There is no bank. We are the river. We are part of the flow and the action and the ups and downs.
We are not who we might become if we reach our goals. We are who we are as we travel the path. That is our reality. Our truth. Our story. We are all the little moments that happen each day. We are now.
And how can we best write our story if we’re not sure what we want to say?
If we answered all questions asked of us and those we ask of our ourselves with our experience thus far, what might we learn? If it leads to knowing ourselves better and baring our soul to others, how valuable might that be?
Not one person walking the earth has had the identical experience to someone else. May we start this new year delving into our own story and how our experiences helped write it. And may we ask others to share how their experiences brought them to their current opinions and personal stories. What they think about education, religion, politics, injustice, raising children, living life. And how their journey to date made them think what they do.
This will lead to growth, breakthroughs, and innovations for ourselves and for those around us.
Author Tahir Shah said, “Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” Sharing your story could be just the treasure that might help someone tell their own. And what an adventure we can then travel together.