Our Human Stories

Willa Cather wrote, “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.”

Have you ever noticed that when you share a personal story in an honest, revealing way someone says, “You just described my life!”?  Me too.

James Joyce wrote, “in the particular lies the universal.”

Have you ever wondered why the very specific, very intimate experience you relate to a friend is met with a knowing and familiar nod of understanding? Me too.

John Updike wrote, “…my autobiography is my attempt to treat this life…as a specimen life, representative in its odd uniqueness of all the oddly unique lives in the world.”

Have you ever shaken your head in disbelief when a conversation with a stranger reveals a common connection? Me too.

We are all sharing the human experience. There is no separation. The sooner we realize that and activate our common ground, the sooner we will enjoy the extraordinary powers of empathy, connection and cooperation.

Your pain, your joy, your anxiety, your flush of confidence, your spiral of fear?

Me too.

DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.

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