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The Stories We Tell

In case you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with stories and words and the WAY people say things. Let me demonstrate: “I hate peppers” vs. “I HATE PEPPERS!” Did you hear the difference in tone (You’re welcome for the shouty capitals)? Here’s another one. You say tomAto, I say tomato—this exercise really doesn’t translate well to paper.

What I’m trying to say is, every time we tell a story we use different inflections, choose different words, and highlight certain descriptions above others. This means, that each telling of the story is never quite the same. Then, when you add other story tellers, you’re basically living the plot of Fight Club or maybe Inception.

So, now, every time I hear a story I feel like I need to put my detective hat on. Like what is really true? But also, one story no longer satisfies me, because for each story there are infinite perspectives. Being an active bystander is kind of like that. It requires some behind the scenes detective work and some new story telling.

Like, in a situation when someone gets hurt. There are two stories: the hurter and the hurtee. But, there’s also the hurt-watcher if you will. The hurt-watcher (read, bystander) has the opportunity to rewrite the entire story. For instance, what if instead of watching they prevented the hurt from ever happening? Then you would just have person 1, person 2, and the active bystander.

I’m no PhD, but I know which story I prefer. I prefer the story without violence, with the person who steps in. That’s the story I want to tell about Claremont. Together we can make it true.

Until next time,

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