I was expecting an interesting morning. A morning filled with information and insight into story-telling.
And I got it. And then some.
Yesterday, I attended the Calgary Foundation’s, Community Knowledge Centre seminar on building an online community for charities to ‘show-off their stuff’ (my description, not theirs!) using story-telling. For three hours we were given insight into the power, art and imperative of story — and a look into how to tell story through video.
I’d heard the first speaker, Patrick Finn, once before at the Calgary Foundation’s Vital Signs Community celebration last year. He was engaging, entertaining and filled with valuable insight into how story is “the operating system of the human mind”. Patrick is a powerful speaker – even though he claims that because he’s an academic, he’s not. I pace. I look back at my slides. I fling my arms about, he told us. Apparently, that makes him a bad speaker. I thought it made him human, and engaging, and charming.
Patrick does what every great story-teller does. He connects with his audience through our shared human condition by being vulnerable and real. He shared a story of one of his not so inspiring moments that actually, because of the story he created from that moment, propelled him into a life committed to helping others find and tell their most compelling stories yet.
When we engage with story better, he said, life will be better.
I believe when we engage with each other better, life is better. And sharing our stories is how we engage, heart to heart so that our minds can dream and scheme and conceive and create possibilities for more of what we want in the world — Love. Peace. Compassion. Joy….
Story is the most effective means we have of passing along information — because through story, we touch eachother in the most vulnerable of places — the heart. And when we touch the heart, we ‘see’ eachother as human beings. Flawed. Imperfect. Hopeful. Possible. and…. Magnificent.
We all want to be ‘better’ at being human. We all want to make a difference that counts in the world. (except for that small percentage of ‘not so nice’ who really don’t give a damn about anyone or anything other than themselves.)
And that’s the thing. If we focus on the 10%, we miss the 90% of amazing human beings all around.
I spent a morning deepening my understanding of story yesterday. And in that learning, I was made different through my knowing that we are all connected — and story is the thread that weaves the tapestry of my life to yours and his and hers and theirs.
There is only one story I want to tell in this world — and that is of our magnificence.
In each moment of the day, there are opportunities for me to be ‘made different’ and to make a difference. From laughing with the man behind the counter at the Passport office, to sharing a smile with a stranger on the street, to buying a coffee for the person next in line at the drive-through at Starbucks, opportunities abound to create a story that speaks to the wonder and beauty and awe of our shared human condition.
We are our stories, Patrick Finn told us yesterday. And I agree.
My dream is to create a story of wonder, of joy, of beauty. My desire is to share in the story of this world of such incredible and immense possibility that we are in awe of all that we do, be, have, see and create.
What’s your dream of making a difference? What’s the story you want to create today?
Patrick Finn at TEDxYYC April 2011