hands formed together with red heart paint

One story, one single story, what seems like a harmless string of words can turn into something that can completely change how a person is viewed and thought of by other people. Most times this story is told without thinking, it can come from someone who doesn’t know the full meaning behind the story that they are telling. This shows a lack of empathy in the person who is telling the story, “empathy is getting a reading as well as you can of what they’re going through, what they may be suffering from. And that’s important to think about them as clearly as you think about yourself and protecting them” (Navarro).  Having empathy towards people can prevent some of these stories being told. Most of these dangerous stories are told by people who make snap judgments, if time was taken to get to know that person and truly understand them, to see the world through their eyes, so many of these stories would never be told. We can see an example of one single story in our world today, “Dr. Anthony Fauci himself initially said, don’t wear a mask…that was because they wanted PPE for health workers”(Navarro).  Being told not to wear a mask was interpreted as being told to never wear a mask, that they were not necessary.  In reality when Dr. Fauci said not to wear a mask, his only reason was to give hospitals and medical workers time to reacquire the needed PPE to keep up with the pandemic.  However his words have been retold and twisted to have a completely different meaning.  

A single story can also be dangerous when telling a person’s legacy,  Stefon Harris said, “‘I’m hoping the impact, in the end, is not ‘Oh, he was the greatest vibraphonist.’ I hope the impact is that he taught generations of people to listen to one another and understand one another,‘” (Burnett).  In this he is saying that he wants his life to be more than his music; he wants to influence people, however he must realize that he has no control over who tells his story and how it gets told.  Which is the reality for everyone, try as we might in the end there will always be one person who is going to tell that dangerous story and change how we are viewed.  We can only hope that in the truth will eventually win out.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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