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Hey! What’s your story?

August 7, 2015
Cover of the book Engibear's Bridge

Engibear’s Bridge – Andrew King & Benjamin Johnston

Most children will have a favourite story. Ask their parents what it is and they will tell you because it has quickly become their least favourite story. The one they have had to read over and over and over again. Night after night. day after day.

As kids we love to live and relive that story and we rarely tire of it.

Perhaps it is the certainty it provides in an otherwise uncertain world? We know who the bad guys are, the evil pirate will be eaten by the crocodile, the spell will be broken, the bridge will be built.

Pity the parent who, after countless readings, attempts to change the ending! There will certainly be protests, possibly even tears  – until the world is returned to balance and the story ends the way we expect it to.

As children we knew who was who, we knew what role they would play and we were certain that we knew how it would end.

And while we may grow older and our favourite story may change, many of us continue to live in the stories we tell ourselves about the world.

As adults we know who is who, we know what role they will play and we still cling to the certainty that we know how it will end.

Pity the partner, the employer, the friend or the stranger in the street who attempts to change the ending. We will certainly protest and there may well be tears. We are very happy to live in our stories until life closes that particular book, puts it down and refuses to let us live it again.

Death, betrayal, redundancy or injury can do it. And while it is critical that you do it,  screaming and tears are not going to change this story.  But like all good stories, it is in the darkest hour that opportunity appears. Once you have cried or screamed or run or drunk or slept enough you might find yourself awaking to the possibility that you have the chance to write yourself a new story. One in which you become a fireman or an artist or a parent or a monk.

Just be careful.

If you get caught in a different story you are still caught. Give everyone in your story (including yourself) the opportunity to surprise you, to do the unexpected, to do something wonderful.


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