Stories are Frames


Yesterday I chose my One Word: Story. Everyone has a story.

Today, I discovered my friend Helen DeWaard’s One Word: Frames. Frames structure our ideas– they can limit us, support us, or enrich us. Our frames structure our stories and frame our vision of the world. Here’s what Helen reminds us:

Frames can help or hinder, depending on how firmly or transparent they are created. Frames can provide a focus or eliminate the unessential. Images are framed by photographers but it’s how I frame the image that also determines what I see. Books are framed by authors but my framework structures what I read into the text. Frames are self imposed barriers or beneficial springboards for new explorations. Being aware of how frames encompass or expand my perspectives, ideas, next steps, forward motions can either lead to closing doors/windows or moving beyond the frames I see. So, this year, I’ll use FRAMES to change my viewpoint, narrow or open up my perspectives, structure my thinking and teaching. I’ll look at FRAMES for what they can do – open opportunities, open views, connect to new spaces and support where structure is needed. I’m FRAMING my framework already.

Helen DeWaard: My Frames are Changing

Thank you, Helen, for your wise words.

Helen’s ideas helped me frame my focus on story. Understanding these frames of our lives, the ideas and moments that build our story, helps us understand ourselves. Listening to others’ stories helps us understand their frame of reference. We need these to build our world together again.

Yesterday I also enjoyed the movie, Pirates of Somalia — a story lived and written by the Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur. The movie reframes our understanding of the people of Somalia. I won’t spoil it — be sure to read the end and the credits to see how an understanding of a story, and the structure, the frames, that built it can change how we as humans can interact in better ways. Humans, and countries.

We’re in this story of humanity together; wouldn’t it be better to work together? I’ve got to step back and look at my own frames, my own stories, as well as understand the stories of others.

What story has changed your mind recently?


Image [by Sheri; see on Flickr

Cross Post at Ask What Else