In the midst of a rancorous and divisive political climate here in the United States, how does your personal story relate to the greater collective conversation and the storytelling that takes place within our society? If you’re a parent, what type of narrative do you weave for your children so that they feel safe in a seemingly unsafe world? In your career, what impact do you feel in relation to the tumultuous nature of our political discourse? 

Humans have told stories for millennia, and those stories thrive even during times of rebellion, chaos, war, and famine. In the 21st century, many frightening and dark stories are told, even as many of us strive to rewrite history and birth a new narrative. In these times, what stories would you like to create for yourself, your family, and your community? How do you strive to manifest your own personal narrative of hope? 

Regardless of political party affiliation, how can we counter the unkindness, intolerance, rudeness and, yes, racist comments and actions that continue to emerge from politicians throughout the world? Is it our responsibility? Let’s face it, it’s mostly people of color, indigenous people, women, and the disenfranchised who continue to be insulted and assaulted with harmful political policies practically every day. How can we live in good conscience, faith, and in alignment with our core beliefs while such behaviors are perpetuated? What actions do you take–or do you remain silent in the face of fear and injustice? What stories do you weave to make sense of the world around you?

If you’re deeply troubled by climate change, for example, and your children ask you questions about their future, what do you say? If your friend shares that she’s working in a highly negative workplace culture, how do you help her to begin a new career narrative?

In a chaotic world. stories can be used to make sense of our current reality and move to create the future we desire. From the kids’ classrooms to the boardrooms of corporations, words hold power and spin the stories that we tell ourselves and each other. What stories will you tell?

As for hope, may these words of Maya Angelou provide a hearty dose: