My favourite podcast is The Moth. Its principle is simple: people sharing personal stories in front of a live audience. Setting aside the idea behind it, there is a complex preparation process with many persons involved in delivering the stories in the form that reaches the audience.
Why do I love it so much? For its authenticity, for the trembling voices who dare to share their experiences, for the instant connection felt with another human being, and above all, for the stories.
There is nothing more humane and nothing braver than putting yourself out there, in front of unknown souls and unveil parts of yourself and of your existence. It takes so much courage to strip down layers of your being and crush the walls of self-protection only to become vulnerable. It is empowering, and deeply touching, to hear another individual, just like you, daring to take up a stage and present to the world fragments of their life.
In the simplest possible way stories that are told remind that the extraordinary is in the ordinary. Examples of how simple gestures of kindness become game-changers can restore lost hope. Illustrations of how perseverance and determination can move mountains and defeat what might seem like a doomed fate pass the message of the bravery that human heart helds.
Through history, stories and storytelling brought communities together and helped built the invisible ties that bonded us as a species.
Children, the adults of tomorrow, through stories learn about the governing principles of this world. It is the way of discovering the good and the bad, the meaning of the reward and the punishment, the love, the grief, the means of coping with loss and the reasons for moving forward.
Listening to someone else’s story puts your story into perspective. It may that the burden you are carrying all of a sudden feels lighter and becomes easier to bear. Glimpses of unbelievable journeys shine new light on the meaning of this limited existence and bring depth and wisdom. It is southing to hear that what is perceived as personal struggles are universal battles.
Listening to a personal story forces you to put on someone else’s shoes and try to walk its path for a brief moment. It is an exercise that requires patience, understanding, empathy and the ability to see outside of your skin; an exercise everyone ought to try it once in a while. Hearing another person’s story forces to feel beyond our flesh and blood and internalise the frailty and sensitivity of human nature, and discover faces of amazing vitality shown in face of adversity.
Listening is not a passive activity and for one to become good at it must start by dropping any trace of judgement. Discovering and understanding stories invites to look into the depths of the soul and see under the mirroring reflections traits not willing to surface without a helping nudge.
I will always favour the story of a simple human being, just like me. Tales of life make fiction lines and movie scripts only a pale and fade replica of what humankind experiences are.
Setting aside the fiction and the fairy tales, we all have our narrative. We all live the ordinary extraordinary existence. We can learn so much from each other, but first, we need to learn to listen, to be patient enough to know when to give the floor to the one next to us and to let kindness prevail over the inborn criticism.
The bearers of the experiences have the right to be heard. It would be such a loss not to allow the stories to be shared. The wisdom must travel and we must grab each piece (in any form it may be) that will show up in our way.
My dear readers, dare to share.
Take care and stay safe.
Lots of love,
Sharing Simple Words