Storytelling has become synonymous with acceptable deception. The art of conveying the inauthentic.
Elided tales and terse sound bites are the currency of the 140 character economy. Redacted. Reduced. Lessened. But always consumable. We are the Sons of Draper. Scions of Madison Avenue.
And as good sons we tell stories with intent. We convey with express purpose of gain fiscal or personal. But seldom with emotion. Or with gratitude.
So where do we place the things inside of us which are bigger than ourselves. Where do we hold those things which by their very nature should not be contained within the one but shared with a whole?
Where do we put our stories when they shouldn’t be on sale?
“About that Trayvon Martin Thing” was supposed to be a rant. Just another social injustice that would make some great fodder for snarky commentary. The world is going to hell in a hand basket, but at least I can get some dark humor out of it. Somehow it became a story. No spin – none intentionally placed anyway. I unintentionally shared a story. I didn’t realize it was happening.
In a moment I was able to tell a story. And for a moment I wasn’t sitting in that car alone. I was no longer alone in experiencing the impotent rage of being threatened by a “peace officer”. All because of what I looked like and not because of who I was or what I had done. I was no longer being singled out because I was not alone.
Everyone that took the time to comment. Everyone that sent words of thanks. Everyone that shared their own story. I thank you.
I relived a personally horrifying moment, but this time I wasn’t alone. This time I lived through that moment without fear.
So I thank you. I’m the recipient of gift that I could not have asked for because I did not know it was possible.
I cried out in the dark. Never expecting an echo. Instead I found a wall of humanity built of reflected compassion and collective empathy. I gave away something expecting nothing. And in some strange violation of ever increasing entropy I have received far more than I have given.
For a day. I was wrong about the world.