Telling People's Stories

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The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You’re there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see—every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties. ~ Graham Greene

There’s so much right with this quote. I won’t say I’m a spy, but I find other people’s conversations amusing. I’m also pondering something…

This quote got me wondering this morning what would happen if more people told their stories? There’s hardly a shortage of drama in the news today surrounding things like black rights, domestic violence, discrimination, education, and so on that if everyone told their story, I can’t help but believe something would actually be done about it.

Let’s think about this for a moment. There are X number of rape cases every year, right? (I leave the number as X because the quantity is irrelevant for this scenario) One of the biggest things surrounding rape and sexual assault is more often than it should be, the victim doesn’t come forward. What if the victim had a place to express their feelings without fear of being persecuted or being in danger? From a writing perspective and then from a sociological perspective, imagine how much more we’d hear about it? I’m not just talking about women, either. Sure the number of cases against men are significantly smaller but that doesn’t matter. Woman or man alike, being able to freely express oneself is paramount.

I think that’s what blogging’s good for: telling a story and sharing with others. On the Internet, one can hide behind a persona while still telling stories that are real, dirty, sad, exciting, or any combination thereof.

Now let’s bring it back in to my original point. If I’m sitting on a park bench one day, and there’s a conflict between someone or a situation is happening, in my mind, I would want to tell that person’s story. What happens to everyone is important. If I saw someone being beaten by anyone—not just a cop—I would want to share that with the world: “Hey everyone. This guy is going through stuff no one should have to experience. Let’s do something about it.”

Whether it’s the victim or a third party, telling stories people have would be a great way to connect us, bypassing our differences, and using our common struggles as a bond. When one person comes forward, more are likely to follow. Someone has to take the first step, however.