When Kai got up this morning, I was about two minutes into this video, “The danger of a single story”, so I started it over.
The video is about how only having a single story (even multiple versions of that single story), can cause problems and misunderstandings.
She says, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
I’ve always loved the following passage from Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones”:
None of them has ever seen a Jew before. I am aware that everything I do now for the next hour represents “Jew”. I walk in eating an apple: all Jews now will eat apples. I tell them I have never lived in a small town: now no Jew has ever lived in the country.
We talk about the importance of taking in many different stories from many different areas.
We talk about racism.
We even talk about how, when I used to do phone work, people, upon hearing I was in Seattle, would often say, “Oh… is it raining?” (Usually? No.)
This is an important thing for kids to learn – adults, too, since a good number of them leave their childhood not understanding it: One person’s experience is not necessarily another’s.