Do you remember listening to fairy tales, myths, and familial lore? Some stories stirred imaginations and hearts with on a dark and story night. Maybe you snuggled with children in bed to read such nighttime works of fiction. kids like artificial puffy people around their beds to listen to the made up tales too. As a kid, I was also intrigued by the power of stories. They happened to be the made-up tales that adults tell.
My dad once told me that a Filipino boy I liked in middle school had fish tails in his eyes. He accounted for facial differences from his Puerto Rican heritage situated in Hawaii. And, he had to dissuade me from intermingling with whom he believed to be inferior. “That’s not true,” I rejected to his joyful recitations. Of course, I learned how racist his story was as I matured.
The power of story summons the mind and heart to comprehend all humanity or divide them. We’ve all attended gatherings where that one person could electrify listeners. Clusters of people gather, and someone says, “Oh, that reminds me of the time when….” A sentimental narrative beautifies, empathizes, rolls eyes, and beguiles an audience! The Meaning of the Cosmic Egg I first learned of the Cosmic Egg from Richard Rohr. Joseph Clinton Pearce introduced Rhor to the mythological cosmic egg. Rohr created three overlapping domes to share his deeper meaning. They reframed how I process the power of story. The image makes sense! Rhor said that a healthy world, nation, society, and religion include all three tiers. Layered from the inner egg to the outer are My Story, Our Story, The Story.
My Story & Our Story Most of society live nestled into My & Our story. What matters are my rights, my new house, my investments, my religious beliefs, our people, or our political party. Yes, Our worldviews affect the patterns with The Stories in the larger society and world. To cross boundaries, I advocate for social issues. I write blogs woven with opinions and facts. I question. I engage to dialogue. I purpose to link with humanity. How My & Our stories affect The stories in the world matter. For example, my father’s fish-tail story is an ethnic tale. A familial group on the island where he grew up perpetuated their story. My dad’s sense of knowing and assurance to speak coalesced around group identities. He was loyal to a cultural upbringing. Whether it was true or not wasn’t the point. Groupthink became a powerful refrain! And isn’t that the truth today?
Historical Groupthink is Today’s Divide When it comes to The Story a personal inward stirring of the heart happens while in that space. It’s because we move out of My / Our Story. Traversing over a boundary from My/Our to The Story, causes a fair amount of angst. There is discomfort. There is a reaction to cover the ears by cupping the hands. There may even be anger. Slander. Hostility. Why can’t we stay in the My/Our sphere? It’s a good start. But we need empathy and an open mind (heart) and not run away. The global world demands more. It requires my love for something larger than me and our.
I’ll start with The Story about race. Here groupthink overshadows a universal message for human dignity. How do we develop a mindset with skills to address more than My & Our Story? Am I concerned about how our world is topsy-turvey, yet speak of singular vantage points? After the murder of George Floyd, a global world united with The Story about racism. Throngs interpreted, recorded, and transmitted stories everywhere. Throughout countries, patterns of racism mirrored each other. But the US carried the mirror. Perception is often reality. According to US News global survey, the US has ranked last in racial equity. Is that because we stayed within Our Story?
Patterns in The Story People agree upon some universal patterns like seasonal growth patterns for plants. People agree upon nature’s processes. But, when facts and information about race or immigration arise, groups disagree. Now add religion. Just recently, on social media, a person called me a demon and reigned “religious” tongues of hate upon me for disturbing” her peace” from My Story. I asked a question to move to “The Story” about healing.
People become like fighters in a ring. Be first to denigrate with a punch of disinformation or slander is the mantra. Be first becomes fair play to coalesce around groupthink. Some time ago, patterns of lies bombarded My Story about human trafficking. I couldn’t believe who jumped on the bandwagon to be first to stomp the current administration. Another fear is The Story about police killings of Blacks. A minority perpetuates false stories about the statistical patterns of African American killings. Should we as humans concern ourselves with human trafficking and murder in The Story? I say, yes. But, be accurate and truthful about the topics.
Gather information from reliable sources outside of My & Our groups. There are heart wrenching patterns today in The Story. Children killed because of gun violence in our nation is one. Uvalde is the latest heartbreak. Some from My and Our Story prefer to mute dialogue for The Story. I read about the recent Michigan murders at Oxford High School online. So, I immediately turned on the television. I clicked through cable stations to listen to political nonsense. It wasn’t until the evening headlines that I learned more. Once again, I heard arguments and positions cemented in My& Our Stories for the right to have guns. No one spoke of human life. That boggles my mind. When reading a 2019 study about gun injuries as the second-leading cause of death among children and teens and the leading cause of death among high school students, is there a personal illusionary response fixed in My & Our freedoms?
Connecting Leadership Do I recognize patterns in my life and those in my organization? Where do I gather information about The Story for social issues? With whom am I willing to dialogue about My & Our Story outside of an organization? Few advocate for human dignity with those unlike themselves. Too many of us are intentional about My & Our Story. Group-think of My & Our affect The Story we share in homes, organizations, communities, and religious circles. Pay attention to your words from a story you tell others about our global world. Is it only about you and our and directed at your group? Does anything pair with The Story of patterns in our global world? Are you willing to engage with a pattern from The Story? Don’t run back to My/Our story or get angry. Having wisdom, knowledge, and empathetic mindsets are components for leaders within Our Stories. We then cross into The Story for humanity’s sake. Curious minds and tender hearts intersect to the power of The Story. All humanity. All stories. If stories are true, they save us from the illusions of we and the ego-centric smallness of me. They honor life and dignify humanity!