Week 3 – Story Telling

I was a bit taken aback by this session of “Story Telling”.  We had a variety of stories to read through and I found myself reflecting on my own life experiences.

In this session, I realized that people are more inclined to respond favourably to stories, rather than facts.  They are more engaged.

The story “The Bent Backs of Chang Dong” made me realize that people, in general, are usually very resistant to change.  It is important to consider the right strategy for the right audience if you wish to change people’s perspective of something.  It even becomes more difficult when something is considered to be a life-long tradition.  I learnt that sometimes it is better to influence via actions rather than ‘telling’.

The story of “The African Dress” was one that hit very close to home.  With our history in South Africa, it is important to reflect on how far we’ve come and what people have done and gone through in order for us to have the freedom we now enjoy.  This story highlights the importance of engaging in dialogue in order to bring people of different cultures together.

I learnt the following lessons about good facilitation;

-Create an environment that is conducive for learning

-Provoke thoughts

-Enable people

-Know your audience

My “aha! moment” was when our facilitator made me realize that, more often than not, African stories are about “Mother nature” or the woman as a creator.  However in Western stories, the man is the creator (incl. the Bible).  I hadn’t thought about this before, but for some reason it really fascinated me.

We also spoke about the different rituals within our respective cultures and I got an opportunity to understand a bit more about other cultures.  And in this process, I realized that we are not as different as we think we are.  In fact, we are more the same.

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