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Future generations will look back at the time we are living in now. The kind of future they look from, and the story they tell about our period, will be shaped by choices we make in our lifetimes. The most telling choice of all may be the story we live from and see ourselves participating in. It sets the context of our lives in a way that influences all our other decisions.

~ A quote from Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone in Active Hope.

They add:

“In choosing our story, we not only cast our vote of influence over the kind of world future generations inherit, but we also affect our own lives in the here and now. When we find a good story and fully give ourselves to it, that story can act though us, breathing new life into everything we do… A great story and a satisfying life share a vital element: a compelling plot that moves toward meaningful goals, where what is at stake is far larger than our personal gains and losses.”

These authors make clear is that no story is “right” or “wrong”—it’s more about what stories do we want to give our energy to? 

Facts aren’t influential until they mean something to someone. A story delivers a context so that your facts slide into new slots in your listener’s brains. If you don’t give them a new story, they will simply slide new facts into old slots.

~ A quote from Annette Simmons in The Story Factor.

She adds:

Facts don’t have the power to change someone’s story… People stick with their story even when presented with facts that don’t fit in. They simply interpret or discount the facts to fit the story. This is why facts are not terribly useful in influencing others. People don’t need new facts—they need a new story.

Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives—the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change—truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts. ~ Salman Rushdie

A quote from novelist Salman Rushdie