Shall we dig deep and look for light?
Imagine I tell a story about how my grandfather died. I told you we were going deep!
While listening, and keeping your social distance, you’d probably think about your own grandfather or a father-like figure you love.
If you’re having a particularly bad day (e.g., the wait in the Starbucks line was long, your mask AND pants are tight), you might consider your own eternal dirt nap.
But let’s get back to Grampa Ray.
If my story attributes my grandfather’s death to inadequate healthcare and poor leadership, you connect to the problem… fast.
Emotion is the potion.
It’s why our most powerful politicians, for good or evil, have always been the most powerful storytellers.
Now consider data-only presentations. Those snore fests and data dumps – now delivered by home video with zero free snacks!! – invite us to think coldly, solve coldly and feel bone-cold jaded.
My grandfather story is a story that can change the world. Not because I’m an amazing (good-looking, skinny, super smart) storyteller but because when I tell that story, your world changes.
You’re invited to experience my problem – my grandfather’s death – as your problem too.
By sharing a true and personal story, I send out a flare that shines light on questions like:
- How can we ensure the people we love receive good and compassionate healthcare?
- How can we ensure the people we love are allowed to die with dignity (and not alone)?
- How can we honour our beloved’s life (when funerals are borderline forbidden)?
- Who can help us?
- What can I/you/them/we do to make life better?
People thirst for stories that instill hope and faith in the future.
Stories make us believe change is possible.
When you share a story you love, you’re showing your readers and listeners that our world can be different.
That we – as a country, city, community, clan – can be bigger, braver, kinder, smarter.
And once we’ve activated faith and trust in ourselves and others? We’re ready to dim the lights and flash 600 data-rich slides that show us, step-by-step-by-step, exactly how to make life better now and in the Covid-free future.
p.s. No grandfathers were harmed in the writing of this piece. Grampa was not a victim of the criminality unfolding in long-term care homes. Tremendous love and compassion to our most vulnerable and their families.