Stories > Ideas Alone: Telling Your Story and Living Your Ideas
I love ideas. I love dreaming. I can talk theory and philosophy and hold my own, even if my formal training is not in philosophy per se. But ideas alone, while helpful or stimulating, dwindle outside of the context of lives lived and stories told. Here are two ways stories are greater than ideas alone.
- Telling stories gives shape and greater depth to the ideas you carry with you. It’s one thing to talk about concepts, it’s a far greater thing to communicate concepts in a story that engages, draws in and resonates with others. The Harry Potter series did just that, like any great work of nonfiction. The Rowling’s ideas are laid into the fabric of every character, every page, but the way she discusses good, evil, social and character development and all sorts of other topics isn’t in a treatise—it’s in a story that grips the reader. I have lots of ideas. If I share them in a vacuum, you can agree or disagree, you can refute, you can protest… but a story? A story you can fight, you can ignore, you can scoff at, but if you engage it, it will engage you.
- Great ideas are best expressed through the lives of great people. Some of my favorite authors are not “armchair philosophers,” they are or were living their words. The story of their lives gave or gives shape to their ideas. To say it differently, their ideas became enfleshed in their person and in the legacy of their lives. I want to do the same. Writing, speaking, ideation and thought-leading are ultimately inadequate to me unless they are integrated with behaviors and actions now. What is the legacy I want to leave? As I explore that question, I also want to live that question.
It’s been helpful to get some musings off my chest, and I’m looking forward to adding more story. Story about where I came from. Story of events that shaped my thinking, and experiences that reshaped my thinking or helped me in the process of deconstruction. Stories that give shape to the questions that grip me. Stories that remind me and show others what I care most deeply about. In a time where I’ve been preoccupied with writing the next chapter, I’m looking forward to sharing some of the previous chapters. Processing through them. It’s not for you, it’s for me. Even so, I hope you enjoy coming days and weeks that I share my story.
Looking forward to sharing my story as we live our own stories out together.