The Stories That Shape Our Lives

“The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

The above quotation is from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies’ 2009 Ted Talk on the dangers of a single story. I have spent a lot of time pondering how the stories we tell ourselves or the stories we believe from what others have told us affect our capacity for engagement with others. What we believe about the world and the people who populate it is the sum of the stories we believe to be true. At a time when my mind is consumed with understanding the obstacles to relationships and cooperation among diverse people, this Ted Talk really struck a nerve. I’ve posted the entire video below and I hope you will take the time to watch and think about the stories about people that  you have embraced and that you pass along. Are they narrow, one-dimensional tales or richly-developed narratives full of nuance, subtext, and fascinating characters?

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