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Welcome back to Dammit News!
In this issue, Laura Lind reveals the unusual ways
Bridging the Generations Through Story
Stories have enriched my life; I have my parents to thank for introducing them to me at a young age. My mom and dad each had a different way of exposing me to the power of story, showing me the various—and often unusual—forms stories can take.
Dammit author John Highberger talks about another hard lesson he learned, this time through theater.
In the early 1990s, I was in a play about the early days of AIDS called “The Way We Live Now” by Susan Sontag. It was during this show that I learned the power of the written word, and also about not judging a book by its cover.
Of the six characters in the play, only five are portrayed by actors. The sixth, a person dying from the disease, is represented by an empty chair. The story focuses on the ravages of the disease and how it affects the circle of friends.
After one performance, a few of us went out for drinks, including my coworker’s boyfriend, who was raised on a farm and had never seen a play. I was nervous beforehand thinking, He will have zero interest. He’s a country bumpkin.
At the bar, I asked him what he thought of the show. He said, “I liked it, and I can really relate to it.” In my mind, I scoffed! What’s he talking about?
He then went on to tell me how his father had died of AIDS.
To say I was stunned would be an understatement. Teary-eyed, I told him I was sorry for his loss and apologized for prejudging him.
It was a hard but crucial lesson to learn. I realized you really can’t tell anything about a person until you get to know them. Things are not apparent from what we see. I thank the muse of theater for teaching me this.
What happens when someone shares a story with us—a true story, a story from their heart-of-hearts?
We feel connected. We realize the commonality of our emotions. How we are, as human beings, all the same. We all falter. We all fear. We all stumble. And we can all come back stronger.
This book contains those stories.www.dammitbook.com
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