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2 Ways We Frame Our Personal Narrative, Redemptive and Contamination Stories

Posted by Leonard on November, 29, 2016

In the work I do at Loving Legacy Video, I show up without much prior knowledge of the life my clients have lived. Sure we have the opportunity ahead of time to discuss areas they’d like to highlight or avoid in the video, but for the most part, the discussion is lead by the direction they take our interview. I listen well and dive into the things that are being presented, but people tell their story, they craft their won personal narrative and they have choices about how they want this document to reflect their experience. I found this Ideas.Ted.Com article to be insightful when considering how people choose to tell stories about the life they’ve lived.

“In his interviews, he asks research subjects to divide their lives into chapters and to recount key scenes, such as a high point, a low point, a turning point or an early memory. He encourages participants to think about their personal beliefs and values. Finally, he asks them to reflect on their story’s central theme. He has discovered interesting patterns in how people living meaningful lives understand and interpret their experiences. People who are driven to contribute to society and to future generations, he found, are more likely to tell redemptive stories about their lives, or stories that transition from bad to good. There was the man who grew up in dire poverty but told McAdams that his hard circumstances brought him and his family closer together. There was the woman who told him that caring for a close friend as the friend was dying was a harrowing experience, but one that ultimately renewed her commitment to being a nurse, a career she’d abandoned. These people rate their lives as more meaningful than those who tell stories that have either no or fewer redemptive sequences.”




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