On Honoring Stories

‘The truth about stories is, that’s all we are.

Thomas King

In First Nations Studies one of the most crucial things we learn is the importance of stories. Especially the stories of indigenous people, the stories of women, the stories of black people, the stories of hispanic people, the stories of the oppressed in every corner of the world. These stories speak back to the Master Narrative; they challenge the central paradigms of our culture. These stories, and the act of centering them, are a living, breathing form of resistance against oppression.

Stories oftentimes take a lot of courage to tell, especially if they’re stories of hardship or abuse. Sometimes they take courage to tell when they’re stories of happy times, because the sharing of such a personal thing — your own private happiness — can be like opening a vein and bleeding out in front of other people. Stories are sometimes fictional, sometimes not — but regardless their level of fictition they always tell us some truth about ourselves.

And they say that the truth will set you free
but then, so will a lie
it depends if you’re trying to get to the promised land
or if you’re just trying to get by

Promised Land, Ani DiFranco

When someone tells a story, it must be honored. It is not idle prattle; it is not talking about the weather; it is not to be passed over and ignored in the endless cacophany of our media-saturated lives. Stories are important. They change the world; they make or break us.

This is ties in directly to my newly-formed Comment Policy. In it, I say that I do not have the metaphorical utensils to get to every single comment on every single post, but that I try very hard. There is a reason for this. So many of you have shared your own stories in the comments here, have spoken back to my stories, have added to the collective story-telling that this blog is.

I want to honor that. I want to honor your words. I want to let you know that I acknowledge your stories, that I hear what you say, and that even if I have no other words to respond with other than “Thank you for your words,” I am here and I am bearing witness to your stories. To you.

Please don’t ever stop telling your stories. Here, on your own blogs, on and on. Your words are important. Your stories are important. You are important, and I will continue to try and honor that with every word I write here.

3 replies on “On Honoring Stories”

Comments are closed.