Life: Stories We Tell.
My favorite cousin is getting married next weekend. It would be a beautiful day. A joyous one. Lots of celebration, eating, drinking. Merry hearts and congratulatory smiles. Oh, presents. Don’t forget the well wrapped presents.
My favorite cousin would be a wife to a young man from a different family. Our families would now be related. I’m happy for her and wish her new family wonderful memories.
Italy is known to be a place with grandiose Cathedrals. You won’t believe the amount of curious minds attracted, every year, by these Cathedrals. Especially in the Summer months. People from far and near flood these Cathedrals and Cities in hopes of being in awe as they stroll through the streets.
What does my favorite cousin and Italy have in common? We’ll get there shortly.
We last spoke three years ago, her and I, yesterday I finally got on the phone, you know, since the wedding is only a sneeze away, if there was ever a time for me to show up, it’d be now. We laughed, I reminisced on old times, us growing up and for a moment I thought of how we’re becoming our parents. We are approaching the age our parents were when we were kids on trips during school break. We laughed some more.
For a person who’s about to get married, marriage is the one thing on her mind. So she said I should marry one of her friends. I burst out laughing. Naturally I brought the focus back to her. Told her of an amazing future that awaits her. I told her stories of her dreaming bigger, attempting more success. I re-swore my allegiance to her. Letting her know I’d voluntarily be invested in her improvement whenever asked of me, she can count on me to cheer for her.
I told her I would rather be by her side as she treads this new journey but I would not be attending the wedding. However, to keep the mood happy, I immediately asked about the confirmed guests and who she knew would be by her side during the ceremony. Family would be there, she assures me. Someone walks in, she changes the language, now she speaks a language we learned as kids and surprisingly I was able to respond though I have gone years without uttering a word of said language. While our conversation continued, whoever was now around her had no idea what was being spoken. I continued to tell her stories. Good stories. Stories about the future. I’m no story teller. I can’t see the future. I don’t read palms. I’m only human, like her. I can’t tell what comes next on the journey. Luckily, I know humans operate from stories. And this is where Italy comes in. Let’s eat.
Do you know at a time in the ages of our ancestors, the builders in Italy started Cathedrals they could not complete? That’s correct, they willingly embarked on projects they sensibly knew they would not be able to complete. One part being financing but the major part being some of the Cathedrals were so grandiose the expertise of the builders at that time was no match. They had no idea how to correctly finish the project yet they continued building in hopes that the future generations would come up with an idea on how to finish these Cathedrals. They dreamed beyond their century.
Yes, they conceived the beginning of the Cathedrals. They also knew they would not see the project completed in their lifetime yet they continued to build in hopes that the future generations would come up with ideas on how to enclose these structures because you see a Cathedral is no use without a ceiling and a roof. A doubting Thomas would ask “what if the future generations were just incredibly so stupid they were incapable of coming up with ways to complete the Cathedral?” well the ancestral Italians chose to believe different.
This is also knowing that a Cathedral, even without the roof, just the structure takes decades to build. It is not uncommon for a Cathedral to take 300 years to be completed. Yes, you read that correctly. Why would anyone in their right senses finance a project they would never see completed? Why would anyone in their proper mind begin to build a structure their children and possibly grandchildren will not see completed? I’ll tell you why. A story.
Tell me a story of how beautiful this unbuilt Cathedral would look once completed, tell me a story of the glory this unbuilt Cathedral would bring my state. Tell me a story and I will invest all my waking hours to do my part and believe those who come after me would also do their part until our fourth generation, until this project is completed, until the story is completed.
Do you know why the Turkish soldiers repeatedly matched yet another attack trying to invade Constantinople of Ancient Rome? Take a guess. For 1,100 years numerous battles were fought by different instigators against Constantinople, it was like a cherry everyone wanted to pick. And all of them had failed! Different kings and able men wanted to defeat and reign over Constantinople, do you know why? It would surprise you. It was all because of: A story.
You see, when a whole religion of folks get charged by the Quran, to overcome a city and the conqueror would reign over all, that’s an incredible source of motivation, enough to drive armies, one after another, to make a reality something read to them continuously since they were a child.
Humans reached these great heights of civilization because of a story. Well, numerous stories. One after the other.
What stories do you tell yourself? Don’t think too highly of yourself to think you are above a story. What stories have been told to you since you were a child? Don’t think too proud of yourself to think you are beyond the influence of a story. No one signs up for war as a Soldier without a good story. Do you know how many individuals are in the US Army? Not to talk of those of other countries —the human count of the Chinese Army is outstanding.
What stories do you tell yourself?
Twins used to be killed at birth because of a story. Female child used to be killed at birth because of a story. Men began to wear clothes covering their body because of a story. People shave their head and wear a wrap because of a story. People bend their bodies in different uncomfortable ways because of a story. People stare at a screen because of a story. People spend money because of a story. People watch games because of a story. People gamble because of a story. People become addicted because of a story. People die. People blow themselves up because of a story.
In court, the outcome of any crime is based on the lawyer with a better story. You know how deep story telling goes? It is indeed the fabric of existence, the fabric of society. Those who left Ancient Britain for a land they could practice religion freely, did so, why? because of a story.
People think Jesus is Caucasian looking because of a story. One said man about Five Hundred Years ago takes on the liberty of expressing the inspiration he had. He was named MichelAngelo. He painted his interpretation of the Bible, of course they’d look like someone he identifies with — for each artist paints, sculpt, draws, writes, acts a portion of themselves in every piece they produce. And the world ran with it, at a time where there was no image the people could hold on to, one was made. And today, it’s displayed at Museums all over the world to see the great work and the retelling of the Bible — a visual display. A story where everyone is Caucasian. They saw the opportunity to frame minds and they took it. You don’t get commissioned or supported by the largest Religious following in the world for you to go produce images different from the image of the Pope. But now you know, it’s only a story.
And what color is the devil depicted? Red, yes and what other color? Black. You’re correct. And who do you think came up with the human identifying moniker “Black”, “White”? Well you might not have been to Africa so I’ll tell you. People do not go about calling each other “Black” in Africa, no. They are called by their name and socially accepted labels like Uncle, Aunty, Brother.
Do you know anyone Black? No, you do not. Because there is no “Black” person, neither is there a “White” person but the Ancient Caucasians thought it necessary to mass spread both terms. It’s all a story. A “Black” person is far from being the devil just as a “White” person is far from being God. They are just people with flaws. Flaws they can maximize or minimize. With the option to improve all or pull another down to place themselves above. But at the basic level, it’s about a story. Do you know why cults exists? to bring to pass an agreed upon story, correctly executed with minimal to no errors nor exposure.
Do you know why I do not watch “Slave” movies? I feel like sharing today so I’ll tell you. It’s a safe way to put down people without physical whips. All you need is theatrical whips and display of mistreatment to discipline the mind of the person with their bodies unharmed.
Do you know the most effective form of torture? The one you have no bodily proof of. How can you argue the existence of something you cannot physically point to — in terms of torture?
Theatrical exaltation of one race over another is happily consumed by Society. Disguised as “horrible events of the past” but really it is a way of putting people in “their place”, that is — the place where the story teller feels safe with them being. But their place isn’t one told to them in a movie story but a place bestowed on them by He who made them. Now it is up to the principal to decide their vulnerability to deception. Slave movies, songs or dramatization is a re-education. How many main stage movies about the Holocaust can you count in comparison to Slave movies? And you know the best part? Back in the day slave were neither one race or the other but that’s not the story to be told. Imagine a “white” person as a slave. History and scripts would get rewritten sooner than that imagery would gain popularity. Laugh here.
Do you know what the Pygmalion effect is? The way to keep a person down without keeping them down is to show them an image of them being put down. What’s expected of a person is what they generally live up/down to. That is why I always feed those around me with good thoughts because it is imminent that they become great. They cannot misunderstand that they are in fact expected to be great.
Do you know how to keep a person traumatized? You replay events of their trauma. You do that, and they’d never overcome. “People with no name” continuously produce movies of “Black people” ill treated and those who go watch begin to associate themselves with those susceptible to unescapable ill treatment. You don’t have to verbally abuse a whole ethnicity, you just have to tell a story, preferably on a big screen with tremendous camera angles and sound and you keep the cycle of mental oppression going.
It’s all a story. Those who do the telling have the reins to tell whatever they want. And the masses feed on it as though it were good food.
I don’t talk race and this is as much as I would say. I’ll leave you with this: If you have something of value and don’t see it, while another have not much of value but sees your value. They would be tempted to take what’s yours. And humans don’t do good with temptation. As a “White” man once taught me, “if you have something worth having, someone is going to try to take it.”
What do you have? A beautiful mind, one that can take in stories and tell stories. Well, then what stories would you tell your children? What stories would you feed on? The masses are controlled, and rightfully so. Society has to progress at all cost. That doesn’t stop you from going to the corner to throw up the pill they make you and everyone else swallow. And we are all on the pill, every single one of us.
Phew, that took us on a bender! Race talk is over, you can ease up now. Let’s get back on track.
I write because of a story. Right now, the story is write today what you know so you bridge the gap with your future self after life’s wiped away this memory. That’s a compelling story. What? I might one day not know what I know today? Happens so often — to all of us. I couldn’t tell you what thoughts I had four years ago but I can read what I wrote seven years ago. Soon I would move on with life, forget I’m operating based on a story and I would stumble on this and hopefully reemphasize which story I’m operating from.
We tell ourselves stories every day. The best part — it does not have to be true. The worst part — it does not have to be true. But a story has to be told to motivate the human to leave the bed.
There are a few stories out there, for example: Pain is fear leaving the body.
Well, I can tell you, that is not true. — But if believing this helps you complete your practice sessions, keeps you focused to win a medal or improve your weight, then it’s true enough. A human mind requires a story, said story does not have to be true.
Here’s another example: Money is meant for spending. Well, I can tell you, that’s not helpful. — But if it makes you eager to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, comfort the tired, then it’s helpful enough.
Are you understanding? You operate by a story. You are controlled by a story.
It’s neither good or bad, story telling. Those wiser than you have discovered humans operate based on story telling, so stories have been told both for your benefit and the improvement of society but mostly the improvement of society, forget your benefit. It becomes your responsibility to sift through stories, find the one that does give you peace and joy as an individual and retell yourself that story over and over.
Do you know why Victor Frankl’s experience is different from other gas chamber detainees? A story. He continuously told himself a similar story: They can hurt my external body but they cannot choose how my internal self reacts or responds. He realized his thoughts are entirely his, though his body be vulnerable. It’s a story. But He believed it and it was true and it helped him. Now he’s revered by many, years after his existence.
Two thousand years ago, a smart man wrote this:
Drill your soul in right principles that when the time comes it may be guided by them.
Two hundred years ago, a different smart man wrote this:
Riches are a mere “deception” but their pursuit keeps in motion the industry of mankind.
Two hundred and Forty Years ago, a different smart man wrote this:
The whole magic of a well-ordered society is that each man works for others while believing that he is working for himself.
Fifteen years ago, a different smart man wrote this:
Sometimes the most important events of a life occur before it has begun.
Do you understand what I’m presenting you today? What you think you know, you may not really know. What you think you think, you may not really think. What you think you see, you may not really see.
He who cannot peel off layers and attempt to build his own opinion, is a well functioning product of society. While all the layers would not be pulled back, yet pull back a layer. Form an original thought as impossible as that would turn out to be. Choose what story you feed yourself. Be extremely selective on what you feed on — for you are what you eat, as they say.
My favorite cousin is getting married next week, and like the Cathedral builders, I have shared with her a beautiful story of the future. She can now go get married in peace, holding her head high, brave, beautiful, present, knowing she’s not alone even though some of her favorite people are not physically present. I don’t know her future, I don’t know how long anybody would be alive for, I don’t know whether my thoughts are right or wrong but I know if I have the option to be encouraged or discouraged, I’d choose to be encouraged. She can replay the story as many times as necessary because she’s human, just as I am, just as the Cathedral builders were and we all function on stories.
This story has been told. Adjust accordingly. At the end of the day, everything you’ve been told by everyone you know, it’s all only a suggestion.