Media intelligence and frustrated story lines

What in the world is going on? Last week saw terrible tragedies in the US related to race relations. Police quick with their guns, fed-up black men using their guns to take revenge on anyone who looked like their “enemy.” Too bad about collateral damage. Hello, we are all the same species but with different phenotypes (outward appearances). Each of us is one in a billion (approx. 7.4 billion as of March 2016), but stereotyping, distrust, and downright fear abound. Lumping other humans into broad categories is an inherent survival instinct we who are no longer cavemen don’t need anymore.

The Civil Rights Era and time passing have brought awareness and understanding, and life is so much better for minority peoples, that’s true. But, that story has a sequel, and we need to be ever vigilant not to slip back into the previous stories. That old story actually still exists hidden behind politically correct facades, and too often is blatantly told. If you have a strong stomach just look at the online comments on news stories.

Black people’s stories of continued abused rights have been dismissed until what happened in Ferguson caused the narrative to explode. It is still exploding because too little has been done to give the narrative an ending–story fail! Whether you believe Michael Brown was shot for good reason or not is besides the point. There is an underlying valid frustration (struggle) still crying to be heard and resolved.

Everyone has their stories, but so many won’t listen–really listen–to others. Your story isn’t my story therefore your story can’t be true. Your story forgot important details. You made up your story. You exaggerated your story. You are repeating a false story. Talk to the hand. The media tells its own stories, too. Often they no longer objectively report but  insert their opinions blatantly or through choice of words (words have implicated meanings). For business reasons, the media also feeds our fears and encourages controversy. Headlines are click bait. Do not believe everything you read or hear. Look at other versions of the story. Wait for the real story  instead of running with hearsay. You’ve heard there are two sides to every story? There are more, depending on how many witnesses and how many people have agendas.

Please listen to each other’s stories! Do not invalidate other people’s feelings–they feel that way for a reason, so find out what that reason is. Learn how to discuss without belittling or attacking. Understand that fearful, frustrated, or angry people can lash out, and that’s usually not personal against you, but against the situation. Realize that if you go on the attack, your angry arguments will be ignored by all except your angry choir friends–you persuade nobody and will likely alienate. So try to keep your cool and really listen to others. We all have a need for our stories and cries to be heard. Maybe we will learn something that will make all our lives better. Don’t leave this story with a sad ending.









Parts of a story line (plot):

Exposition-setting up the story, introducing characters and setting
Rising Action – event that marks the beginning of the struggle or conflict
Climax – highest point of the struggle or conflict
Falling Action-how the climax is dealt with, working on resolution
Denoument-resolution, summary and story ending




About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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3 Responses to Media intelligence and frustrated story lines

  1. Jan Morrill says:

    Yes! That’s a huge contributor to the events of the last week. We don’t listen to each other’s stories.

  2. Linda, it’s very refreshing and encouraging to read someone talking about people’s stories, rather than the usual rhetoric. You have beautifully identified what it all comes down to.

  3. Thanks for reading and commenting Jan and Cate. Yes, really listening and accepting each other’s stories could help us all have more understanding and empathy, no matter what the problem.

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