In the new year, as part of our Aladdin & the Intergenerational Lamp project, we are hosting three storytelling workshops in Exeter in collaboration with Exeter CVS. We are looking for Seniors (age 55 years+) that are interested in the power storytelling has to boost connections, skills, understanding, confidence and employability. You will receive accreditation and be supported to run story sharing workshops for younger people later in the year. Workshops are free and include lunch. For more information or to book please contact email@example.com.
My Parents are Fascists
Wait! Stop! This is- how can you?- STOP! The title of this article disturbs me. Please change it.
At the time of writing I could change it, sure; but I didn’t! I felt that I had to get something ‘off my chest’ as we say here in the UK. What a lovely opportunity this portal gives me! Please may I (almost) start by stating that the intention of the Aladdin Project is not political, in any way. Our intentions are to learn, grow, heal, educate, listen, tell, share, bring together (you finish the rest) – our intention is a good one, an intention from the heart, if you wish, using the Power of Storytelling and the applied use of Storytelling Techniques.
Why on earth use the title, My Parents are Fascists, then? This is deliberately provocative. We live in fearful times and this could be construed as inflammatory, incendiary! Please remove it and think again.
You’re right, it is deliberately provocative. I leave it there, in order to be challenging to you, lovely reader. Here’s why:-
Stories can be told by anyone. We are, in our very nature, Storytellers. Maybe more importantly, we are Story listeners too; we yearn to hear others stories, no matter how positive or negative they may seem to each of us. Arjen Barel, of the Storytelling Centre in Amsterdam, puts it so well. So simply in fact. In the first Aladdin publication, Foundation Bricks, Arjen talks of the ‘misuse’ of the Power of Storytelling. On page 34 he says, “A good crook is usually a great Storyteller as well, and the same goes for many politicians…” Great and not-so-great; in fact some downright evil people and politicians and dictators of old (and current), have used this power for wrongdoing. To coerce people over to the dark side if you will.
Come on! Arjen writes this so well. You are now turning it into some sort of Star Wars tribute piece. Get back to being challenging! Please.
Stay with me. Do go and read Arjen’s thoughts in Foundation Bricks. When I first read his words I was struck by an inner question. Why am I using this Power of Storytelling for good reasons? Why not use it to further my own cause? Getting money in to my bank account for example? The answers have been many and heady. During my Storytelling Workshops and, indeed in real life, I often muse over the Power of Intention. Put starkly and simply, my intention is to use my skills and expertise for good; to heal, transform and connect.
Why? Please tell us, oh righteous one.
Yes I know, I may come across as more worthy than thou at times. However, I have come to understand the answers in my heart. Living very near Glastonbury in Somerset I often partake in the most beautiful, eloquent, sometimes divine conversations with others. It’s a place where people are encouraged to tell their truth, and be listened. My intention is to connect with others using my gifts as a Storytelling Coach, a facilitator, a new-age shaman if you wish, to give others the opportunity, skills and confidence to tell their truths too. Consciously. Before you ask what that means, Conscious Communication invites us to ask, “Is it truthful? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” before we let the words out of our mouths.
Right! So, you saying that your parents are fascists is truthful? Kind?! Is it necessary to keep this awful title?
Ah, you’ve made that connection. I can see why. No, my parents are not fascists. They are older versions of my parents now. They read a newspaper here in the UK which rhymes with Daily Fail. (Satire). I dearly love my parents and, I feel lucky to be able to write that down.
Wo. Where’s the truth here? And, you said that you were non-political or something.
Absolutely. These are my views and observations and stories of what is happening across the western world currently. Or, to be more precise, what is perceived to be happening across Europe and the world. The News stories that we get from News Papers, whether online or hard copy, tells stories. Some of us read this as news, black and white, the truth. Others believe that they see through it all and it can be seen as lies, propaganda, opinion at the very least. I try not to judge readers of News Papers either way. Being non-judgemental is a work in progress!
You won’t change that title will you? You see it as a sort of eye-catching News Paper heading don’t you?
That’s cool! I hadn’t actually thought of it like that but you’re right. My intention was to challenge, to stir the reader in to reading these words. If you’ve got this far, well, it’s worked! May I leave you with a little Personal Story before I go and do something else?
At last! Go on. Please.
Thank you. During one hitch-hiking day about a month ago I sat next to a man who was the same age as me. We talked of the current affairs ‘affecting’ the world. We talked of our place in the world and whether our input would make any difference at all. He was already a nice guy, just because he stopped to pick me up! During our brief conversation we found out that we have a similar belief system. Our parents, it transpired, were a similar age too. He expressed his love for his parents. Wow! Total stranger expressing love. Cool. We then seemed to go in to a sort of ‘satire bubble’ whilst talking about our ageing parents and how their view of the world has been shaped by the stories from the News Papers they choose to read. We talked of how their heads go along with these stories and have altered their once peaceful perceptions of the world. What a mind-blowing conversation with this smiling chap. I too expressed my love for my parents but said that the Daily Fail had a lot to answer for. Why couldn’t they choose a more loving publication! He was laughing, we both were. He repeated that he loved his parents so much, BUT… I laughed so intently that my belly ached, because I knew what he was about to say, “…But. My parents are fascists!”