Boetian black-figure pottery skyphos (wine-cup), found at Thebes, 4th century BC, Odysseus at sea on a raft of amphoras, Ashmolean Museum
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OpEd News's own Rob Kall, also host of the "Rob Kall Bottom-Up Radio Show," spoke at the Whistleblower Summit on Monday about "how to do power stories," summing up his message with two guidelines: First tell what you'll say, and then what you've said.
Develop an elevator pitch in this process.
Twentieth-century physics can't be explained in the linear way that the Cartesian "old white men" used to explain previous categories of science, Kall said. "The new way looks at cycles and circles and immersion properties."
To illustrate, he told two brief "elevator stories": In the first, a man named Randy Keller gave a talk about whistleblowing, inspiring one of his listeners to take action on some information eating away at his gut.
That is, Daniel Ellsberg was inspired to release the Pentagon Papers.
Kall's second story focused on the renowned suffragist Alice Paul, who protested in front of the White House during World War I.
She was imprisoned and responded with a hunger strike. In turn she was force-fed with a tube shoved down her throat. She begged a prison guard for a pencil and paper and wrote a note begging the president of the United States to grant women the right to vote.
His response? The Nineteenth Amendment, Women's Suffrage.
Both of these protagonists reached the right people.
They had a story to tell and it was heard.
Kall then turned to the story we all share, the Hero's Journey (and all whistleblowers are heroes), popularized by Joseph Campbell in his book "Hero with a Thousand Faces" and the PBS series on it narrated by Bill Moyers.
There is first the call to adventure, which some reject but ultimately take up when summoned a second time (think about the ruses of Odysseus and Achilles to avoid participating in the Trojan War--their subterfuges didn't work).
The tale of the Hero's Journey is told in thousands of worldwide stories and myths. It should be taught in grade school, Kall said. Mentors are often part of the tale, which originates in a womb of sorts (lack of experience) and leads to a road of trials, along which the Hero acquires new allies, skills, and knowledge. On this voyage the Hero meets with mom and dad, defines his or her gender, meets a god, and then returns home with a magic elixir.
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