SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Friday, August 16, 2013

Serving a higher purpose

Stories serve a higher purpose.

Every storyteller starts with a passion to tell a story. They are in all probability enamored by the hero or the hero's quest (here I use Hero without bias...to denote male and female).
But soon this fascination starts to wind itself around the teller, and she/ he soon begins to play with the story. Adapting it, changing it to suit the occasion, or completely transforming it to make it their own.

But there is another angle to it. Stories speak directly to our consciousness. Things that were not said may be construed by the audience and every person takes back what they want to from the story...I as the story teller, have no control over it.

Can we then engage the audience in a way to step up their understanding.

That is what is called as scaffolding. A term widely used in drama and theater practices. Where the audience/ participants will actively engage with the story through specific strategies...which could include asking questions, role plays and forming freeze images.

I usually work with a younger age group, so it was indeed a lot of fun when we used this technique at the Ananya Trust school. 

We used the Chicken -Licken story, which I have already talked about before and you can read about it here. This time it was great fun working with 15+ age group. Some of the children were able to identify with the characters and were able to generate new thoughts and ideas. We used a method called Hot Seating, where one person becomes a character in the story and answers questions posed to them. This method helps the participants actually bring all what they think into the character, sometimes reshaping the character itself, but most of all helping them and us understand, our fears, inhibitions, values, attitudes and belief systems.

We had a splendid time. Hope to have an ongoing monthly engagement with Ananya Trust. Thanks to their team for welcoming us and letting us do what we do.... surely you know this but let me say it again:  learning is a two way traffic!!....










Monday, August 5, 2013

Where is it?

Compassion, kindness, love

Where is it?

I am unable to read the newspaper nowadays. Unable to see the rape, death, and horror that we have created in this human reality, I read my children's school edition instead...at least there is some positive information there.

A good question to start with is
What does compassion look like in ourselves?

For me compassion is unlimited, unbound unconditional love. For me compassion is in my word.
Compassion is knowing that the reason for another to be different, is as difficult for me to understand as the other's difficulty to understand me.

We go through life so unaware of what we are saying and how we are saying it. Words and actions that so contradict our intentions.

We love our children, but do we respond with compassion to them? Is communication congruent? We growl and glare and stare at them...all because we are trying to discipline them.

Recently we had a mini crisis in my house. My son is in this trajectory of running away from responsibilities....he is always one to drop every ball he is juggling to become a couch potato or to escape into the outdoors to get his adrenalin fix. So on Saturday when my husband asked him if he had done his homework, he was told there was none. Sunday evening...almost night...at 8 pm, he had still not come back home from play and we get to know from our neighbors daughter and classmate that he had a sizable amount of homework to finish plus a debate to prepare for.

"Liar, why cant you tell the truth?"
"I did not lie, I forgot"
"Forgot?! How can you forget? See again you are lying. If we don't correct him now, he will become a lazy bummer, he will amount to nothing. He needs to be more disciplined, cut his privileges, ground him."
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Tears, frustration, humiliation.....more lies?...fear....

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But you know what, these adult words come from our own fears. Fear that we are not capable of raising an ideal child. Fear to step out of our own traditional system of raising children. Fear that the child may become a compulsive liar...Fear of spoiling our child
All valid fears...
As I yo-yo between traditional ways to raise my children and an intuitive need to break away and find my own way to learn with them how to raise them....I am left with only one word that raises its hand towards me, to take my unsure arm and lead me down its way. Compassion

If I respond to every wrong doing with compassion, then I need not fear...I know that the actions and words that follow this word will only lead me and my children towards happiness...Every time I respond to a situation with compassion, I know I have gained a learner in my child and I know that they will eventually choose what is right....and not need someone else standing over them telling them what is right...

When we consistently live compassion with our children, they learn to be compassionate....

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So my next question is...

What does compassion look like in our society?....

( ...to be continued)

ssstoryteller