creating better narratives

Today a talked in class about being story tellers and I want to reflect a little bit more about that. Perhaps, some of these are not my ideas but are Flores, Habermas, Maturana, and Vignolo’s ideas that help me to reflect on what is a narrative. The first crucial point, is to understand that each person is what it is or has the interests that it has, or sees the possibilities that it see, on the base of certain narratives. Then, what is a narrative? A narrative is a story that somebody tells. Narratives are not relations of events; they are stories that people construct to explain, justify, and give coherence through time, to themselves and to their world. For example, the narrative of first man on the moon is not a simple relation of events that happened in the 60’s. It is the story that, when watching backwards in the Western hemisphere, we tell about who we are and how we achieve it. The story about how I decide to be enrolled in this program is the story that gives me the energy to pursue success. A narrative is an interpretation about something, somebody or ourselves. To explain, justify, or give coherence to our lives we produce “stories” about us, who we are and how we become the one who we say we are.

Any individual is always immersed in narratives that precede him/her and that are greater than their life. The conversations of the life of an individual arise from these historical narratives. They base their interests, possibilities and standards to act and to judge actions. We already are in the middle of these narratives before do anything; before to speak or listen to any conversation. We lived in these narratives. What we called our “values”, our “interests” and our standards to live are founded on these narratives. However, people do not think as much about these narratives as they act/think from them. Think more about our stories would open new possibilities for action.

To explore our narratives can be very helpful to enhance our understanding of others. Not only it allow us tell more engager stories about who we are and how we become to be what we are but also to know trough which lens we listen to others’ narratives. I am not thinking in fake our personal stories, but since stories are not fact but interpretation of them, we can choose to change the narrative that we have about our selves. For instance, if my whole life I have tell myself the story that all that I have achieved it is because I have had lucky, I can revise that story and pay more attention to my virtues and sacrifices. That way when I present my narrative I can emphasize my effort rather than my lucky. It is very interesting to realize that even though the fact of our history cannot be change, the interpretation that we have about those facts can be changed at any time. If someone is resented because an infancy tragedy, the same person can embrace the life because despite the bad thing that person progress.

Like people organizations also have narratives. Some narratives allow change and others don’t. When people stuck themselves remembering old times, having another supervisor or belonging to another multinational corporation, those narratives do not allow change. To facilitate change, it is necessary first to embrace a narrative that make change possible, like “despite we have merge many time during last five years, this company have had always the ability to adapt.”

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