As you have heard, every story has three sides, and according to Robert Evans, those are your side, my side, and the truth. If I were to tell the story of one of the greatest presidents ever to live, my focus would be on his speeches, achievements, and impact, especially during his presidency. I would detail some of his challenges but perhaps mainly those he faced during his campaigns where he needed to prove himself worthy to his fellow citizens to get their votes. I would basically say it in a way to drive a certain point: to get people to respect this man who went through a lot and finally came out at the top. That would be my side of this icon’s story.
The same biography coming straight from the horse’s mouth would be different. It would have a more extraordinary touch on his reality than any journalist or writer could imagine. Where his feelings got hurt by something, he would want the people to know just how deep that was.
The man would open up about some things that happened in his childhood that may seem inconsequential to some but had a significant bearing on how he viewed things and eventually turned out. What I may have considered his biggest challenge would to been. Some policies he stood up to defend in public may not have come from the core of his being but just from the need to be politically correct for the benefit of his party or his campaign sponsors.
Need I say more, or does this reveal the importance of telling your own story to your friends, children, followers, and subordinates? Does this shed enough light on how easy it is to misunderstand if you don’t take the pen and author your own life story?
Body language experts can decode the little shrugs that signify indifference or total ignorance concerning something. Your pictures could be under scrutiny until those left behind conclude that on a particular day, you were sad just because of the way you appeared in that photo, and they could go on to guess what could have been eating you up.
All these assessments could touch on the truth here and there, but no one could express it the way you could. Only you can be sure of exactly what emotions you have and which ones you hide. If you want to leave behind an accurate legacy, then you need to be the one to narrate your feelings. Through storytelling, you can make known the things that put a smile on your face so that your people can know your light. The things that cause you sadness or anger are equally important because they reveal what you stand against.
A story told of two brothers who grew up with an irresponsible and violent man for a father. He often physically attacked their mother in their presence and was a huge nuisance. The elder son grew up to be exactly like his father, if not worse, while the younger became the opposite; a gentle soul.
When asked what made them the way they were, they both replied, “with a father like mine, how else would I have become” See? It isn’t the circumstances of your life that determine you but your take away from them.
Without you taking the initiative to explain how certain situations molded the way you think and do things, assumptions made for you and your story distorted. Your takeaway from the circumstances of your life may not always be apparent even to you, but if you are determined to control the narrative of your story, you will dig deep inside yourself to find it out.
We often shake our heads in wonder at other people’s actions that we consider odd, foolish, or strange. “What was he thinking?” we ask after failing to comprehend what made them do what they did. You may not always be actively conscious of the thoughts that run through your mind every moment of each day, but you can always trace the reasoning that led you to do something. Make sure to add the thoughts behind your words and actions in the stories you tell unless you want others to think of you as strange.
Storytelling is a tradition by which people remember their loved ones when they are gone. Even those who never met you in person can feel like they did when they hear about your chronicles, so leaving them with an inspiring narrative is up.
Until the next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.