April 6, 2016

Heartlines

Why stories matter

Stories connect us to our common humanity. If I know your story, it helps me understand you better and creates an opportunity for trust to grow.

In South Africa, as in many parts of the world, trust has been broken on so many levels over a number of decades and this breakdown seems to have escalated over recent years. When trust is broken, we create our own stories about the person or people we feel betrayed by. “All of them are so …” “Those people always …” “Our people would never …”

Almost every hour on social media, we hear stories that anger or provoke us, that seem to mock us for believing that we can live well together, despite our differences. But if you search or listen closely, you’ll also hear stories that make us dare to hope again: stories that show us there’s more to our humanity than our skin colour, our cultures, our accents, our bank balances …

We need to get to know one another’s stories to change the stereotypes and prejudices we have about each other.

The more we create stories about rather than together with people, the more stories of fear, prejudice, distrust, suspicion and disunity we create. The more we create stories together with others, the more we build understanding, compassion, empathy, friendship – even hope.

Join us as we celebrate the stories that don’t often trend or go viral to build trust and understanding in our nation.

Find out how to share your story.


Share This