How Stories Change the World

How Stories Change the World

Alright let’s get real here – how do stories really change the world? You might wonder, “Is this just some nice title to your blog Annie, or is there any reality to this?” Yes it’s a nice title, and by the way several have tried to steal or shall we say ‘borrow’ it without asking. One guy, a somewhat prominent media man took it, tweaked it, and then pretended he’d never heard it from me! But that is a story for another time. Stories change the world by changing our thinking, that is if they are used with that intent. That’s why in a sense it doesn’t matter that snaky media man tried to steal the idea, because ideas are empty without the spirit of the thinking behind them. True storytellers are not media...

Apricots Saved the World

Rebecca came in quiet and forlorn. She was never much of a talker anyway but I could tell right away that something was wrong. Her mother clued me in that she had just come from her cello lesson and her stern teacher had once again reprimanded her. Rebecca was a brilliant cello player and a serious student. What a plight for a fourteen year old girl who only wanted to be deeply acknowledged. Rebecca and I were scheduled that day to do a treatment for her apricot allergy. So as she lay on my table and I treated her, I decided to work on her ‘real’ problem as well. I said to her, “Rebecca, this treatment is going to take about 10 minutes so while I work on this what I want you to do is to figure out how apricots saved the world.” Now what in...

The Guru and the Garland of Flowers

A great guru was passing through a town riding on an elephant. I say “great” guru but truthfully the greatness was all in his mind. His heart was actually small and self-centered but he had a large following nonetheless. He was on his way to “Somewhere Important.” Yes that is actually the name of a town. Somewhere important, does that sound familiar? He was so caught up in getting to somewhere important that he didn’t see anything around him. He missed the beautiful women working in the fields, the ones that were cultivating the food that he ate. He missed the holy man praying in the temple, the very temple in which he went to pray every week. He missed the doctor ministering to the sick, the very doctor that had brought him into...

Your Life is Lived in Stories

When my mother died, I was amazed at the beautiful stories that came out about her life. I knew that my mother loved people and tried to help them, but I had no idea the extent to which she had made a difference in others lives. I got cards, letters and phone calls. A grown man saying, “Your mother was my second mother. She would listen to me in a way no one else did.” A high school friend said, “She made me feel special and unique.” A woman from our neighborhood growing up, “She talked to my family (a family of color) when no one else in the community would.” Head of our local botanical garden, “She always asked me about my life. She took an interest.” These are just some of the many things that wonderful people...

Plus Ultra – a story for our times

We live in extraordinary times on planet earth. Great change is afoot, and some would say we are in need of a whole new world and a new way of being. And nothing provides greater impetus for deep change than story. So this reminds me of a story I first found years ago when I visited the home of eccentric Pennsylvania millionaire, Henry Mercer. Henry’s private home Fontill is now a museum. It is quite an unusual experience both in the design and in the fact that you can easily get lost in it’s many hallways and corridors. Henry’s uniquely designed home, which he did himself, feels more like a towering labyrinth than a private home. As I said, Henry was rich and also eccentric. He also has an entire six-floor museum which houses thousands of...