“The Nigerian storyteller Ben Okri says that ‘In a fractured age, when cynicism is god, here is a possible heresy: we live by stories, we also live in them. One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, or we are also living the stories we planted — knowingly or unknowingly — in ourselves. We live stories that either give our lives meaning or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives.’”
Thomas King, The Truth About Stories
So what are the stories we tell about our formal public education system in BC? This past year has been a challenging one, and stories abound. Most are not new; they are variations of the same themes that have been shared by the same groups of people over the last ten or more years. And (yes, I begin sentences with “and”) all the stories have truth to them, but does that mean we need to live in them, that we need to hold on to the same narratives we tell of each other just to keep trying to prove that we are “right” and that (given that so many of us seem to like to live in dichotomies) others are “wrong”? Does that help us to do our work with healthy spirits? I would suggest that if it doesn’t, then we might want to rethink those narratives. Doing our work (no matter what it is, and regardless of what out titles and positions are) with a healthy spirit is a necessity for both the children and youth we help and for ourselves. Think about it.