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    Storytelling—How every culture expresses “Ubuntu—I am because we are.” (Part 2)

    May 31, 2014

May 31, 2014

Storytelling—How every culture expresses “Ubuntu—I am because we are.” (Part 2)

Storytelling is a natural part of being human.  This creative, compelling way to communicate ideas, ethical beliefs, spiritual foundations, and cultural history might manifest as graphic artistry, spoken words, sign language, or be written.

Festivals celebrating the art of storytelling, primarily in the oral tradition, are found around the globe and can be one of the best ways to experience different cultures.

In Part 2 of Storytelling—How every culture expresses “Ubuntu—I am because we are,” we introduce you to Linda Goodman, a Master Storyteller who will be a Teller In Residence performing September 16-20 at the 42nd annual, world-renowned International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. We asked Linda if, in her experience, she sees a benefit in teaching diplomats and others at the top levels of government to use the Art of Storytelling as a tool to break deadlocks during peace talks and other negotiations?  Can a great storyteller craft stories that enlighten listeners enough for some to permanently change their minds even about long-held beliefs that stand in the way of coming to agreements?

Linda answered us by saying, “The answer is an emphatic YES!!  A few years back I heard Master Storyteller Ray Buckley tell a story about how he was able to forgive the man who had killed his wife and son, his only child. By first getting to know the man’s son, who was the same age as Ray’s own son had been, Ray was able to steel himself and visit the man in prison. Getting to know the man who killed his wife and son led to Ray being able to forgive him.  Before hearing Ray tell his story, I did not believe such a thing was possible. After hearing it, I understood that when you know another person’s story, you can sometimes forgive even the unforgivable.  I have served on numerous nonprofit boards and on occasion have used my storytelling skills to bring those on the opposite side of an issue around to my way of thinking.”

Linda shares her mastery in a story that embodies the Art of Storytelling within a personal tale entitled, The Punishment.


Linda Goodman – The Punishment

When asked how she felt her story, The Punishment, illustrated the concept of Ubuntu, Linda said, “We are all products of those who came before us. In The Punishment, my father teaches both me and my mother the power of compassion. His fake whipping (which she believed was real until the day she died) resulted in the first hug I ever remember receiving from my mother. Before the punishment, I saw my mother only as an enforcer. After the punishment, the memories of that nurturing hug softened my heart towards her, and I became a more loving daughter. I am a kinder, more loving person because my father orchestrated a fake whipping that brought out the secret, compassionate side of my mother.”

You can learn more about Linda at www.lindagoodmanstoryteller.com.

1 Comment
  • Linda Goodman, June 1, 2014 Reply

    So proud to be part of this effort to share the power of "ubunto"!


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