Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines and Stories

Valentine's Day is a great chance to examine stories.

"There is one special person for everyone."

"If you have not found your special person yet, there is something wrong with you."

"If you don't celebrate Valentine's Day with your special someone in a special way, you must not care about your beloved. Your relationship is doomed!"

A story is just a thought--shared, repeated, and, most importantly, believed.

When we notice our thoughts, we notice than some of them come up over and over and over. These are our stories. Some of them we created. Some we were told (by our parents, or our companies, or our countries).

But are we our thoughts? No, when our thoughts are not there, something is still looking through our eyes. And that something has no gender, no height, no weight, and no stories.

The human brain makes narrative. It takes our experiences and turns it into stories. And these stories affect how we behave in the future. These stories become values and truths.

But they are just thoughts. And when we observe our thoughts, even about something as inconsequential as Valentine's Day, we begin to see how our stories shape our world.

Happy Valentine's Day!


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