We live in a country where suspicion, fear, prejudice and racism plague us daily. The growing sentiment seems to be anti-black, anti-white, anti-rich, anti-poor, anti-foreigner … in fact anti-everyone who is not like us or threatens our comfort. We have a trust deficit that affects the quality of our relationships with others and hinders us from getting to know each other better.
What if suspicion, fear, prejudice and racism were replaced by understanding, respect, love, acceptance and trust? What if South Africa became a place renowned for our ability to know each other and care about each other’s stories?
We cannot allow the scourge of prejudice, racism and mistrust to derail our dream of being a reconciled nation. For us to break down the things that divide us we need to understand better the people we interact with on a daily basis. Understanding builds trust.
At Heartlines, the Centre for Values Promotion, we believe in the power of personal storytelling to create understanding and, ultimately, trust. We believe this will ultimately break down prejudice and reconcile us to each other.
Enter What’s Your Story?, a story-based initiative to promote trust, understanding and greater social cohesion.
Watch the What’s your Story promo video.
We believe that personal storytelling can be achieved in 3 easy steps:
Ask. Listen. Tell.
By asking, listening and telling each other our stories we can break down suspicion, mistrust and the misconceptions that divide us. As we make this a habit, we can build the South Africa we long for, one story at a time.
When we listen to each other’s stories, we begin to see the human being behind the “other’s” race or ethnicity and realise how similar we are. Best practice with regard to attitude and behaviour change shows that stories are the most effective change agents, as they impact on people both emotionally and intellectually. Hearing another’s story opens up the potential for reconciliation, mutual respect and understanding.
Will you join the storytelling revolution?
Four pillars of What’s your Story?
1. The film, Beyond the River
Inspired by true events, this is the nail-biting story of two men from different backgrounds whose quest to win gold connects them on and beyond the river. Regarded by some critics as “the most spectacular South African cinema experience of our time!” Beyond the River is the film to kickstart a culture of personal storytelling.
The film releases in cinemas nationwide on 27 April 2017.
2. Resources on personal storytelling
Easy-to-use resources to empower you to share stories in various contexts, such as at church, bible study or small groups, youth groups, high schools, campus or in your workplace. These resources include DVD stories of inspiring individuals.
3. Leadership engagements
Two-day offsite engagement for leaders of a particular sector who work together to overcome a specific challenge within their sector. Find out more about Bridge leadership engagements.
4. Online platform
Read, listen to and watch the stories of ordinary people making an extraordinary impact in our nation. www.whatsyourstory.online
To find out more or to get involved in What’s your Story?, email us firstname.lastname@example.org