The courage of storytelling

/ 11 May 2011

The students in my class this term have been excelling at blogging. You can find the whole list of their blogs, linked, on the course webpage.

I love this excerpt from a blog post one of my students wrote:

Does it matter how we tell stories, or does it just matter that we are courageous enough to tell them? We’ve had some group discussions in our Ministry and Media Culture class about the perils of blogging, about concerns of exposing ourselves and our stories in a way that puts us at risk of judgment, about feeling the need to shape our public persona in such as way that what we post is beyond censure. Faultless. Clean, unblemished… sterile?

When I recall the best stories I have ever been given, whether family stories, friends’ stories, or classic stories told by masters, they are not clean, unblemished or sterile. Instead, they all bear within them this kernel of truth: those within the story (which is, of course, each of us) are flawed and damaged, struggling with messy, difficult problems and challenges. Those very-best-of-all-stories required someone to expose the very-not-so-best of themselves for the sake of the one receiving the story.</blockquote>