Changing personal narratives “If you’re born into that Antigua and Barbuda Email List situation, the nature of the trap is with your not even knowing it, acquiescing. You’ve been taught that you’re inferior so you act as though you’re inferior. And on the level that is very difficult to get at, you really believe it. And, of course, all the things you do to prove you’re not inferior only really prove you are. They boomerang … You’re playing the game according to somebody else’s rules, and you can’t win until you understand the rules and step out of that particular game, which is not, after Antigua and Barbuda Email List ll, worth playing.” —James Baldwin We often fail to see the stories that govern our lives. If we want to change specific systems, we need mirrors to help us understand existing narratives and their impact, and the tools to author new ones. Systems change practitioners can learn from narrative therapists, who work to bring the stories that govern individuals’ lives into the Antigua and Barbuda Email List light and modify them as necessary.

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They do this by unpacking their current narratives, examining Antigua and Barbuda Email List their origins and their impacts, and then helping people rewrite more positive stories by which to live their lives. Recognizing the impact of dominant narratives and developing the skills to author new ones can catapult people from a place of acceptance (of the system and their role in it) to a place of action. Systems changers must enable people to find their agency and understand they are not passive recipients of history. Millar, of the Finance Innovation Lab, explains, “Antigua and Barbuda Email List We invite people to reflect on the systems that shape their lives. This process is powerful in giving people a critical awareness of who they are and of the wider structural forces affecting their own personal story.” Toronto-based In With Forward uses tools from narrative therapy Antigua and Barbuda Email List to create interventions that get to the bottom of social challenges such as poverty, homelessness, and addiction.

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The organization works on multiple levels. At the micro level, Antigua and Barbuda Email List it helps enable vulnerable people to reframe their personal stories and recognize their own internal resources. At a meso-level, it tweaks physical environments such as drop-in centers and shelters so that they reinforce these alternative narratives. And at a macro-level, it aims to influence narratives held by policymakers and the public, so that real structural opportunities meet the aspirations Antigua and Barbuda Email List of vulnerable people. Changing our cultural narratives “Story is for a human as water is for a fish—all encompassing and not quite palpable.” —Jonathan Gottschall On a cultural level, the stories we live in justify the status quo, make institutions feel inevitable, legitimize Antigua and Barbuda Email List certain kinds of solutions, and make our world feel preordained

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