Sunday, 16 April 2017

More than one way to tell a story

"If you want to tell the history of the whole world, a history that does not unduly privilege one part of humanity, you cannot do it through texts alone, because only some of the world has ever had texts, while most of the world, for most of the time, has not. Writing is one of humanity's later achievements, and until fairly recently even many literate societies recorded their concerns and aspirations not only in writing but in things.
...
In addition to the problem of mutual miscomprehension, there are the accidental or deliberate distortions of victory. It is, as we know, the victors who write their history, especially when only the victors know how to write. Those who are on the losing side, those whose societies are conquered or destroyed, often only have their things to tell their stories.
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A history of the world told through objects should therefore, with sufficient imagination, be more equitable than one solely based on texts. It allows many different peoples to speak, especially our ancestors in the very distant past...."

- Extract from the British Museum and the BBC's A History of the World in 100 Objects, Neil MacGregor.

I suppose the above concept can even be applied to our smartphone-crazy world today.

Not everyone can express themselves properly through writing or words, so why should we restrict our stories and how we communicate with each other to writing?

If I could extend this concept a little bit further, but from a different angle, I should also ask this question: Does being literate, and having better word selection/writing skills, make you better than someone who has never had the opportunity to receive an education? Absolutely not.

A person's worth is not measured by how intelligent or well-spoken they are, whether they can read or write well or express themselves eloquently.

I would suggest that, regardless of whether you believe in God or not, what matters most is the heart and everything else matters...very little.

Andre Lim

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