As I listening to the team telling stories, I am struck by two facts. First, a lot is happening! Individuals are striving for something better. Second, with the chaos and challenges, it is difficult to tell the story.
The first observation fills me with hope. In the face of uncertainty and a residual tiredness that comes from constant change, many are still trying to make a difference. Often the motivation is simply because it is the right thing to do. S/he knows it will touch someone’s life. S/he wants to make a difference. The outcome is that s/he acts.
The second observation causes me to wonder. It is difficult for many to tell their stories. It is almost as if they do not want others to know. It feels similar to a story that is embarrassing. One knows that it is there however one does one’s best to hide it. Given the sensitivity, I find myself gently trying to probe as to what is behind this.
In my unscientific review, I find three different drivers.
The first is one of keeping the story within the immediate family. The motivation is exclusivity. As odd as it sounds, there is an attitude that the impact will be diluted if others know about it. Only we can benefit. This reminds me of Paul’s analysis of a negative reaction to his God insights. “It’s because of this ‘whole world’ dimension that the Jews grabbed me in the Temple that day and tried to kill me. They want to keep God for themselves.” (Acts 26.21)
The second is one of embarrassment. Individuals are confident others are doing the same thing. They are not special. Their acts are normal. Nobody needs to know. It is hard to imagine for them to how special both are.
The third is one of not knowing. Individuals and community do not know how to tell their stories. I find myself reminding them as well as the guy in the mirror that it all begins with a few words. There is always an audience for good news.