19 October 2015: TED Talks led by Adrienne

Don’t rely on a Single Story by Chimamanda Adichie. A simple lesson that we are all aware of but easily forget – writers/commenters/spokespeople provide views which are seen and filtered through their eyes. Their view is not the only view, the actual story is something that could be quite different. This is very apparent when books or experiences in one cultural context are read in a completely different cultural/country context. This was Chimamanda’s experience reading English children’s book in Nigeria. The stories portrayed a completely unexperienced existence. Single source stories can distort truth and create biases.

In discussion we noted that we generally have single sourced stories in the Bible – the gospel’s based on Mark. We can gain a wider, fuller understanding through historical discoveries of the life and geo-political events that were occurring at the same time. These knowledge can round out the events in the Bible, provide context and suggest why things were recorded the way they are.

‘The story we tell about Poverty is not True’ by Mia Birdsong. Tackling of poverty in the US has met with only limited success because the drive, ambition, creativity entrepreneurship of ‘poor’ people has not been utilised. Are ‘poor’ people really a problem to be solved by imposing solutions from outside. Better argues Mia, to provide resources for poor communities to develop and provide support from within.

Ian Harris

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