Monthly Theme: Story
What does it mean to be a people of Story?
Reflect on STORY
- What story about yourself have you outgrown, but others are still telling about you?
- What family stories did your “elders” pass down to you? Have you cared for them and passed them on as those elders hoped?
- What story does your family of origin tell about you? Does that telling leave you feeling seen or misunderstood? Celebrated or unfairly characterized?
- What unrecognized current cultural or political “story” strikes you as most dangerous?
- “My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.” – John Dominic Crossan
- “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
- “There are no true stories; we are making up every one of them.” – Pema Chodron
- “There are only true stories. We are discovering the truth in them.” – Christina Baldwin
- These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore
- The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
- Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
STORY Film Festival
- Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself
- Stories We Tell
- When They See Us
- Big Fish
Other STORY Resources Online
- The MOTH Radio Hour: NPR’s fabulous program with people telling real stories live without a script
- Watch Rev. Tony tell a story about racism at a MOTH-like event outside Boston a few years ago on this YouTube video: Martha
- “On Neil Gaiman & Why Scary Stories Appeal to Us,” an essay in “Brainpickings”
- “Rethinking the Story of Human History: Calling today 12,021 rather than 2,021” a YouTube video.
- “The Danger of a Single Story,” TEDTalk by Chimamanda Adichie.
Monthly Spiritual Challenge- Confirmation Bias and Spiritual Stories
My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.” – John Dominic Crossan
Confirmation bias is when preference determines belief. If we WANT something to be true, we BELIEVE it to be true. This stops us from full investigation and exploration. When information confirms what we believe, we stop investigating. When any evidence disagrees with our belief, we ignore it. Therefore, the fundamentalist and the skeptic must overcome the same problem when dealing with the human heart, spirit, and religion.
How has your confirmation bias about religion and spirituality affected your own personal thoughts about religion and your own spirituality? How might you benefit from investigating your own confirmation bias-ed view of religion and spirituality? How might this lead to a better understanding of not only your own views on religion and personal spirituality, but your understanding of other perspectives with which you tend to disagree? How might Unitarian Universalism be different if more UUs learn to undo their religious and spiritual confirmation bias? Reflect and express yourself on this topic through journaling, blogging, poetry, are (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, song, music, collage, multi-media, video, etc). Share your thoughts and creation with someone else. Rev. Tony would love to hear from you if you care to share with him.