More About Stories

The problem with stories is they can be powerful whether they are true or not. Unfortunately there are many untrue and manipulative stories coming out in the commentaries made by certain pundits about the dangers of democracy in Middle East and Northern Africa. This is one of the regions most messed up by both American and European meddling. A region containing diverse cultures with complex relationships which create complicated problems. The story we are told, for the most part, is that these problems are caused by Islamic fundamentalists and non-christian extremist. “They hate us for our freedoms,” is the frame we are given for the story that hides the larger story involving huge corporate interests and  powerful governments, guided by selfish and greedy motives,manipulating regional politics and economics by cynical and sometimes brutal tactics. The frame covers the story that would more accurately tell us they hate us because we use and abuse them to make ourselves feel more secure and comfortable. A simple story is so much easier to accept as the truth. A dictator is easier to control than a democracy. We are fed a steady stream of simple well told stories about why we should support autocracy in other countries even though we would not want it for ourselves. We have the advantage of living in a relatively free country where whole stories are available to people who are not afraid of of their messy details. But in order to live with whole true stories, we have to be comfortable with uncertainty and doubt. That is what makes stories interesting to me, I like not knowing what is going to happen next. I enjoy complex stories with lots of details and interesting characters with full and colorful lives. I would much rather hear those stories than have people stuffed into neat boxes with labels like terrorist and fundamentalist. The more we tell those simple stories the more people out in the world see us as uncaring oppressors who create a world were people cannot tell their own stories. I want everyone to be able to tell their story. I hope the people of Egypt are abe to come together and make a country where that is possible. I believe we will all be safer in a world where all people can speak out and be heard.

This entry was posted in can't really complain but, make your own world, Other peoples words, Telling Stories, thinking in words and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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