The Danger of a Single Story

I was introduced to the concept of the danger of a single story through a podcast shown in my family theories class.  The speaker is Chimamanda Adichie whom I had never heard of before watching this video.   I have watched the podcast three times and each time I felt something different; a myriad of emotions.

What touched me the most, was how many people have embraced a single story either about themselves, others in their life or the world at large.  How stereotypes are formed and adhered to speaks to the concept of a single story, which impacts everyone in one way or another.

Our stories are what make us human, as they define us and categorize us.  They are the essence of our life and are invaluable information about who we are.  I do not believe that anyone of us should be categorized into a single story, as it limits the ability to grow and be creative; most dangerously of all it can extinguish hope.

Whether it is the story we tell ourselves about who are or the story others tell us about who we are, it is important to not get swept away with the idea of a single story.  To never look deeper than the surface level and what we believe to be true about ourselves or others, I believe is a disservice.  We cannot ignore who we are in the present or who we were in the past, but we also cannot ignore the possibilities of the future and what we have the power to become.

There is undeniable power in a story, but usually, there are many stories behind one person, one family, one race….one country.  So many pieces and fragments that come together to form each of them and to ignore any piece is to ignore a part of who they are.

Do you think of yourself as an alcoholic, an introvert, a rape victim, a loner, an outcast, a workaholic, the black sheep of the family, a veteran….without considering the other parts of what makes you who you are?  Have you labeled yourself or been labeled by others, allowing for a single story to be created?

Do you have a single story?

Do you believe you have the power to change it?

(Personal reactions to the video are welcomed!)

~TS

About thoughtfulstroll

I am a veteran, a professional business woman and a counselor in training. Follow me on my journey to becoming a mental health professional.
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