Storytelling at Work
March 19, 2020
SILVER LINING STORY #1: Finding Our Common Humanity


This just in from the totally wonderful Julian West in Kathmandu.

As countries worldwide slam shut their borders and condemn millions of us to enforced and self-enforced isolation, something wonderful is happening. A new sense of humanity, fueled not only by natural compassion, but the knowledge that from Beijing to Bologna, from Seoul to San Francisco, we are all going through the same thing. The Big C is here, everywhere, and it could be coming for us, too.

All of us are worried: about our health, the health of our friends and families, our communities; our livelihoods and those of others; our ability to survive. Governments everywhere have proved themselves inadequate, in many different ways, to coping with this crisis. In a matter of days, countries like Britain are melting down: the ragged state of the safety nets designed to protect people, but torn apart by decades of government cuts, exposed. We have a health service that can't respond; employers that either cannot or will not pay sick leave; supermarkets whose supply chains have broken under the weight of human fear.

But we also know that ALL of us are experiencing this. And from that shared experience is blossoming something rare and precious: community, humanity, compassion, and kindness.

I belong to Nextdoor, one of many neighbourhood groups, usually carrying notices for workmen, or local news and tips. For the last two or three weeks the site has filled with offers to help elderly people; links to volunteer groups; tips to stay healthy and fed; compassionate words of support and advice for the sick or scared -- of whom there are many. It helps people feel less isolated. To feel they are not alone. For indeed we are not.

The other silver lining to this dark cloud hanging over us all is the improved environment. For the first time in years, in Beijing you can see the sun. Smoggy grey skies are now blue. In Kathmandu where I live for much of the time, streets are clean of cars; the magnificent Himalayas are out in full glory; we can breathe.

These are just some of the ways this crisis is helping us: to find our common humanity, to see the glory of the beautiful world we live in; to offer, as a counterpoint to dystopia, something truly divine.

-- Julian West

How to submit a silver lining story to this blog

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at March 19, 2020 07:09 AM

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Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

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Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
Do you want to know more about the book before buying it? Click here for Mitch's response to frequently asked questions about Storytelling at Work – the perfect book for people who think they have no time to read.
The Workshop
Storytelling is an "unconscious competency" – an ability we all have that all too often remains inaccessible to us. Enter the Storytelling at Work workshop – a simple way to activate this powerful, innate skill.
Wisdom Circles
Want to establish a culture of storytelling in your organization or community? Looking for a simple way to help people to share their meaningful, memorable stories with each other? Here's how.
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Click here to view and listen to a series of interviews with the author of this blog. Go beyond the written word. Listen. Feel. Elevate the conversation. Understand what the big deal is about personal storytelling.
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If you like this blog, you might also like Mitch's other two blogs: The Heart of Innovation and The Heart of the Matter. Mitch is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Idea Champions
When Mitch isn't writing, he's captaining the good ship Idea Champions, a leading edge innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY. What their clients say.