We share bits of our life stories every day … whether it be describing the events of a stressful day with a friend or remembering a recent vacation. McAdams, believed life stories are crucial to our interaction and serve as a window into the rest of our life.
For instance, if the predominant theme of the stories I tell is how I was a victim of circumstance and complaining about my coworkers and neighbors the entire time, the rest of my life will likely be similar. If instead, I choose to focus on the positive and tell the story of my day (both the good and bad – It is important to let out the frustration in a healthy way) from the perspective of how the day’s experiences have helped me grow and help others, my future will likely be full of opportunity and I will view my life as being a happy one.
As I was reading McAdam’s theory, it reminded me of a folktale I heard several years ago…
Two different people were assigned to move to a town Texas from their homes in California as part of their job reorganization. Neither of the two knew each other. As the first person drove into town, he stopped at the local gas station and refueled his vehicle. He asked the attendant what the town was like. The attendant said, “What was the town you came from like?” The man replied, “It was awful, full of rude, selfish people.” The attendant replied, “Well, I think you’ll find this town pretty similar.” A couple of days later, the second employee entered the town and also stopped at the gas station to fill up her car. She also asked the attendant what the town was like. The attendant replied with, “What was the town you came from like?” She immediately responded, “It was amazing. Everyone was so polite and cared for each other. Nobody was a stranger.” The attendant replied, “Well, I think you’ll find this town pretty similar.”
I would love to hear about you. How would you describe your town?
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer anyone
– Colossians 4:6 –
Encourage, Elevate, Empower