Changing Culture Norms through Storytellling

Cultural norms help to shape who we are. The stories that we hear every day. Those going against those norms are often outcast, but they are brave and being true to themselves in their actions.

What if this was all about gaining equality. Equality in the races, in gender, in identity. We are all people after all. Men had been forced to hide their feminine side and women their masculine. Many behaviors seek to overly espouse the opposite. Business women with short hair in suits. Women smoking. Or driven to over expression through hiding their true nature. Men who become over powering and violent in action. Culturally we seek to numb and hide in our actions. Drinking, drugs, over-consumption. We are obviously sick and getting sicker. While some of this can be attributed to our diets, those have been controlled by the cultural norms and so we must look deeper at the root.

The root may perhaps be that the stories that we are telling about ourselves as a culture are not true or are at least a bit misguided. Women are indeed equal to men and don’t need “torches of freedom” to prove this. Consumption of goods was designed to be a factor in getting out of dire economic stress. Tapping into our desire to take care of others and our culture brought this about.

So if you are seeking to create change based on basic truths of who we are as people and people aren’t changing well the you are telling the wrong story. We must as a sustainable culture be reaching into our basic truths as humans and using those to illustrate how that will make our lives better.

Everyone I know who is interested in creating change should be reading ‘Winning the Story Wars.’ I do not believe this to be an overstatement. We all strive to make change from here out, but this book so effectively shares our past and where we’ve come from that you can’t help but better understand where we need to go from here.

I believe that I have a good understanding on how to move forward as a culture. Creating a real understanding of how the world work and our place in it both individually and collectively.

My take is that through game play one can shift those thought processes into a reality that will sing to the soul. When truth is spoken your body responds. Your ‘gut’ tells you that this is right. So what we need to focus on is telling and changing those stories so that we might all live happily, healthily and more free. Freedom to be ourselves is the message.

Buy local campaigns are likely to bring a big change in the coming years not because they encourage spending but because they showcase individuality, and pride in ones home, and care for neighbors. Groups like BALLE has an opportunity and obligation to hold this purpose. Because shifting from consumption is the first step in reclaiming our compulsion to over-consume. Once people shift to what is available locally they realize the true capacity of the earth to provide and naturally lean towards re-use and decreasing consumption. Knack, a creative re-use boutique is not the first in my area, but their goals of having a center in the area that reduces waste flow while providing products that people need is the next wave that is coming. You can see this through the rampant successes of Terracycle globally. If by effectively diverting ‘waste streams’ into perfectly ordered raw materials the dependency and consumption will begin to shift in a way that our earth can handle.

But it is about getting those stories out there. Where I live there are 5 local independently owned games stores, and we are not a booming metropolis. There are many places that have none. ¬†Whether it is local pride or because we aren’t a ‘threat’ this has created a vibrant community centers around creative thought in my area. We are actively moving towards the sustainable regional system that will prove our area’s resilience as our planet’s resources dwindle. But it is not the lack that we need to use in order to communicate change. It is the possibility. It is the stories that we already know and hold to be true. Tap into this and change is inevitably.

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