If there is only one video you will see, let it be this- The Danger of a Single Story.

If there is only one video you will see, let it be this- The Danger of a Single Story.

If there is only one video you will see, let it be this of Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie beautifully capturing the dangers of a single story in building perceptions of a people. I personally as an Indian, have come across people around the world who marvel that we speak good English, run businesses and live lives of dignity. As Adichie rightly said, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

And like her, I am also guilty of accepting similar single stories about other countrymen. It is empowering and frightening at the same time, the power that a story wields in shaping human thought. After all, “Show a people as one thing — as only one thing — over and over again, and that is what they become.” 

It is each and every one of our responsibility to avoid the dangers of a single story. And how? By taking the time to read and understand stories from different point of views. To learn truly before we act.

And more than anything, to invest in stories. To encourage more stories. To bring to light forgotten stories. To give a voice to people who need to gain an identity that has been tarnished or lost by a single story- by the means of a story.

Chimamanda captured the heart of it beautifully when she said, “Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

 

Amen.

Link to the video on TED Talks here: http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html 

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