On true understanding…

The storyteller Kevin Kling once said to me, “A story is always about two things — what it’s about and what it’s really about.”

History is a story. News is a story. Everything that we buy is sold to us with a story. What others tell us about themselves is a story (and vice versa). What we believe and who we are is a story.

Most of the time, we just take the story at face value. We hear what it’s about and go with that…

This product will improve my life. This event happened the way I was told it happened. This person is who they say they are. I am who I say I am.

Everything we know about everything and everyone, we know because of a story. Either one we were told or one we told to ourselves.

True understanding of the world comes from not what the story is about, but taking the time to listen to what it’s really about. Because is is always about more than one thing and the thing it is really about is often obscured, intentionally or otherwise.