A Challenge Detroit fellow, Erin Cardwell, shared a quote that she felt resonated in her spirit, it says, “to be interesting, you must be interested”. I remember shying away from sharing my story, feeling that it lacked an impact or fear that no one would be interested in hearing it. But over the years, I have found the more I am interested in the revitalization and redeveloping the community, the more profound my story became. I arrived at the understanding that by reaching the listeners, holding the interest, and crossing all age barriers is the impact of an effective storyteller. Knowing and applying the art of storytelling will not only strengthen the stories, but also develop the desired interest in the audience. We all are equipped to be little heroes for others who find encouragement in our stories, by refusing to share, unfortunately paralyzes the hero within.
I still get nervous every time I am asked to speak, but when I begin to speak it is quite liberating. One time while speaking to my old high school, I was sharing my grief story about my brother, and when I saw the young people beginning to cry, I knew that I had to shift the focus off me to now empowering them, I just simply said we cannot embrace pain but instead find the passion in our new reality. There is a transparency in storytelling, that allows the listener to sit in a trusting environment.
I’m empowered to now allow the hero within to speak, because there’s an audience for every story, and that’s make it very interesting!