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April 19, 2012 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-04-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

money to the poor and homeless,
but each speaks to a worldview that
is either heart-dosing or heart-
opening.
If your story is "there but for the
grace of God go I," you are saying
that God loves you more than God
does the poor and homeless. If your
story is one of negative thinking:
The homeless person attracted pov-
erty to herself by "thinking poor"
rather than "thinking rich:' you are
saying that you think better than
does this other person.
Both of these stories are heart-
closing, but don't imagine that tell-
ing the story of justice and injustice
is automatically heart-opening. If
your justice story demonizes the
wealthy or makes saints of the poor,
you are still telling a tale that closes
the heart. As long as you tell stories
that pit an "us" against a "them,"
you are perpetuating a world and a
mindset that will force your child
to live in a fearful world haunted by
the specter of the other.
Telling heart-opening stories
isn't easy. It requires you to care-
fully examine your worldview and
the stories you tell to reinforce it.
It may force you to challenge cher-
ished stories of your own: stories
about being chosen and not chosen,
or saved and damned. It may force
you to change your story, and that
may cause others who still cherish
that story to reject you because you
rejected it.
Storytelling has real-life conse-
quences, and, because it does, it
is vital that you know what you're
telling.
If you want to raise open-hearted
kids tell them heart-opening sto-
ries; stories that speak of us and
them rather than us versus them;
stories that link success to personal
integrity, creativity, compassion
and curiosity rather than selfish-
ness, greed, conformity and exploit-
ing the weaknesses of others;
stories that show a world rooted
in love rather than fear. And if you
take on this challenge, just know
that you will be doing so in the face
of a culture that too often tells a
very different story. El

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April 19 m 2012

33

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