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The Power of Story

January 8, 2014

I just watched this:

My favorite quote is:

“There is a word, an Igbo word, that I think about whenever I think about the power structures of the world, and it is “nkali.” It’s a noun that loosely translates to “to be greater than another.” Like our economic and political worlds, stories too are defined by the principle of nkali. How they are told, who tells them, when they’re told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power.”

Wow.  What do you think?

I think I want my students to watch this.  Maybe they can tell me an instance of how a single story has affected them.  Has a single story affected you?

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8 Comments
  1. January 8, 2014 3:17 pm

    Are there any stories that HAVEN’T affected me? Doubtful.

    • June 1, 2014 1:26 pm

      I agree, but sometimes our stories get in the way of the truth, or the complete truth. I am trying to analyze if that is true with me…

  2. January 18, 2014 11:24 pm

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. The quote that jumped out at me as I listened was, “the problem with stereotypes is not that they’re untrue, but that they’re incomplete”. There is so much in here that inspires. What an articulate, thoughtful woman! I am going to share this on twitter.

    There’s a whole other conversation this makes me think about re how the stories we have from our families, the stories the world tells about “people like me” shape our inner stories we tell ourselves. And how reading is a way of escaping that. At least for me it has always been.

    Again thank you for sharing this, and I hope to continue the conversation with you about the power and meaning of storytelling.

    • June 1, 2014 1:27 pm

      Yes! That is exactly what I mean! My students loved this TED talk too. It does create room for a deep conversation.

  3. January 21, 2014 8:34 am

    Megsie, Thank you for that link. Later today (when I have a bit more time) I will send you my story of a single story. It is a poem I wrote called, “How I Survived the War in Croatia”.

    • June 1, 2014 1:29 pm

      Oh, PJ! I really want to hear your story about Croatia. It sounds like it might break my heart a little bit, but I know I will be a better person after I hear it. I hope you still will share it with me! xo

  4. February 7, 2014 2:19 pm

    I loved this talk, so very much. It’s so fascinating to think of the power stories have to change people’s perceptions. More than that, it’s empowering. Thanks for sharing this!

    • June 1, 2014 1:29 pm

      You tell EMpowering stories my dear, almost every time you write! xoxox

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