Hear Many Sides

Compassion Grows Through Exposure to Many Different Stories

Did you know that we limit our understanding of other people and the world we live in by only hearing one side?

There is a lot of danger in what novelist Chimamanda Adichie refers to as “a single story”. What happens when we grow up only reading one side of a story? Or when we watch the news and we repeatedly hear the same story about a specific group of people or situation?

What happens is we shape a one-sided and inaccurate view of another identity, culture, community, country, religion or race. According to the Pew Research Center, 83% of Americans try to avoid social media posts from friends they disagree with politically, with 39% say that they’ve blocked or unfriended someone in order to avoid opposing political views. While there is great danger in developing false perceptions by our exposure to a single story, the cure is in the same tool – stories.

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Get to Know How Stories Shape Our World View

Watch to this TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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There are so many ways to be more mindful of the experiences of others.

Some ideas are:

  • Be curious: Always take the time to learn more about what you hear or read.
  • Make connections: Look for opportunities to make new friends who may have a different identity, experiences or background from your own.
  • Do your own research: If you notice you are only hearing one side of any story, take the time to research others from reputable sources.

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