Story is Power -- Listening is Power

21 October 2017


"We should all know this: that listening, not talking,

is the gifted and great role, and the imaginative role.

And the true listener is much more beloved, magnetic

than the talker, and is more effective and learns more and

does more good."

            ~ Brenda Ueland (1891-1985)

"The one with the will and skill to listen first

has the power to transform the relationship."

            ~ 2017 Commencement Address

            Notre Dame de Namur University

"Story is the shortest distance between people."

            ~ Pat Speight

"Stories transform the future!

They go ahead of societal change in order

to open space for new attitudes to take root and grow."

            ~ Paulette Stevens


Wars -- including withdrawing from each other -- are divisive acts of violence, predictable failures.
They violate relationships, and destroy human beings, creativity, hope, and physical and emotional infrastructure -- the spirit of both perpetrators and victims.

Civil engagement -- listening and story sharing -- humanize, close distances, equalize, and release creativity.
Story + Listening Together = Power = Choosing life.

Here are living examples for us to emulate.

1.  Bridges to Peace Listening to Japanese and Filipino Stories that Heal
2.  Citizens Creating Their New Story of 1000s of Palestinian and Israeli Women Finally Being Together
3.  Diverse U.S. Citizens Engaging Civilly, Creating Their New Story
4.  Enrichment Resources

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Bridges to Peace Listening to
Japanese and Filipino Stories that Heal
Ms. Naoko Jin is a Japanese social entrepreneur, wife, and mother who has devotedly videographed hundreds of Filipinos and Japanese -- World War II victims and perpetrators -- with stories of grief, guilt, regret, and also forgiveness.

This 5-minute NHK World News report from October 2015 tells her own narrative of dedication to story sharing -- the telling and listening -- that can help heal both violators and violated.


Bridges to Peace:

Seeking Japanese and Filipino story sharing that heals

NHK World News --Thursday 01 October 2015

5-min video

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Citizens Creating Their New Story of
1000s of Palestinian and Israeli
Women Finally Being Together
During October 2017 thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women left their homes to be together.
Facer-to-face they met, and shoulder-to-shoulder they expressed themselves seeking, insisting on agreements for living together fruitfully as equal human beings, beyond war.


These Palestinian and Israeli women demand only one thing: Peace.

Al Jazeera - 09 October 2017

2-minute video

The Women Wage Peace

Story Re-told Globally

in Words and Images


One social outcome is the powerful, unprecedented Piece for Peace Quilt Project illustrated at
To contribute your original quilt square, write to Aliza Erez at

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Diverse U.S. Citizens
Engaging Civilly while
Creating Their New Story
In divided 2017 post-election America, vastly disparate citizens are urgently engaging, from North Carolina -- -- to northern California --

Kern Beare is a creative U.S. citizen quickly discovering how to circle up traditional adversaries for civil communication -- listening to one another's stories and world views in a divided nation.
Pop the Bubble is Kern's new initiative for disparate women, men, and youth to experience powerful principles and strategies that allow for face-to-face engagement in meaningful and productive dialogue with anyone regardless of economic, social and ideological differences.
The free workshops
unleash each one's capacity for compassion, collaboration, and imagination to help create a nationand a worldthat work for everyone.


Difficult Conversations:

Becoming the people we need to be

to have the conversations we need to have

A Pop the Bubble Workshop


REQUEST a free Pop the Bubble Workshop anywhere in the U.S.

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Enrichment Resources
Evolution has wired our brains for storytelling -- our power.
why and how.


Why You Need To Use Storytelling For Learning

by Connie Malamed

The Science of Storytelling:

Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our  Brains

Leo Widrich


A new 2017 book describes theory and face-to-face practices of successful interreligious dialogue, education, and public activity in Israel and Palestine, largely with inspirational, instructional stories of unforgettable human engagement and reconciliation. It provides practical tools and models of interreligious, civil discourse for people around the world.


The Other Peace Process

Interreligious Dialogue, a View from Jerusalem

Ronald Kronish

Hamilton Books, September, 2017, 210 pp.


Storytelling: A Peaceful Power to change the world is championed by Kiran Singh Sirah, president of the International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, Tennessee USA.
Sirah clarifies:

"We can be the story we want to see in the world.
And we can help others, too, just by listening."


Storytelling: A Peaceful Power

Kiran Singh Sirah

TEDxNashville -- 18 May 2016

15-1/1 min video

Summer 2017, Sirah was invited to consult at the Pentagon for the Collaborative and Adaptive Security Initiative (CASI) -- -- an arm of the Department of Defense's Center for Civil-Military Relations.
The wildly diverse group from military strategy and training, academia, and think tanks met with peacebuilding, faith-based, and other nongovernmental initiatives to consider a better way of enacting our shared future.

This meeting, itself, was surely part of a new story of our shared future.
Sirah reports:


Saving Lives Through Story

Summer 2017

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This message is on the Web at
Hundreds of other success stories are preserved at