Gospel: Mt 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Rest allows us to reread our old narrative from a different perspective and the story lights up and provides another story different from the past. We are given fresh insights that are more life-giving instead of the recurring pains and complaints that are replayed many times over. We are more than our single stories. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer, narrates the danger of a single story in TED Talks and she becomes aware of the power of stories. It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. There is a word, an Igbo word that I think about whenever I think about the power structures of the world, and it is ”nkali.” It‘s a noun that loosely translates to ”to be greater than another.” Like our economic and political worlds, stories, too, are defined by the principle of nkali: How they are told, who tells them, when they‘re told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power. Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person. The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with, ”secondly.” Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story…All of these stories make me who I am. But to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
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