I've been attending the IVOH.org (Images & Voices of Hope ) conference on Restorative Narrative. Restorative narrative stories follow a person or community through a meaningful progression from despair through resilience.
We'd like to see more of this longer form kind of journalism at OpEdNews. I encourage you to take a look at some of the stories that have flashed on the media and tragedy. Dig deep and find ways that good has emerged from them-- communities coming together, people finding inner strengths and resources, hero's journeys. This is a way to turn sadness into hope.
It's a great opportunity to find heartwarming, inspiring stories which evoke empathy.
If you write one and submit it, please drop me and email and let me know.
We live in challenging times. Restorative narratives offer a different tint of light to illuminate a hopeful future, even coming out of experiences of despair. We need much more of this.
For example, Kim Cross wrote a book about the survivors and recoveries from the worst superstorm to hit the United States, in the South's "tornado alley" in history-- What Stands In A Storm. It is a restorative narrative which shows the resilience of the individuals and communities hit by the 60 plus toronadoes over three days-- the biggest and deadliest storm in recorded history.
The mainstream media feeds on "if it bleeds it leads" stories. Restorative narrative is a long haul, committed relationship approach compared the one night stand "if it leads it bleeds" approach. Often it gets written long after the initial "bloody" part of the story has been forgotten. As a long-time advocate for positive psychology I've learned that some of peoples' most positive experiences come from rising above and surviving trauma and adversity. Joseph Campbell's hero's journey concept, also known as the monomyth offers a way to characterize the response to such traumas and experiences of adversity as calls to cross a threshold to a new life-- a heroic journey on a road of trials where we, through challenges and conflicts, build new strengths and resources. It is THE archetypal story of personal growth through challenge. It is a noble story, a profound alternative to victimhood.
We need many more stories-- carved and harvested from the stories the mainstream media tend to leave as detritus and decaying death, forgetting to look further to the next season, when life blooms from the pain.
Of course, we won't have a problem if this kind of article takes more words to tell.
This is also an invitation for article submissions to the people who have attended IVOH.org conferences.
The ivoh Mission Statement:
At Images & Voices of Hope (ivoh), we believe that media can create meaningful, positive change in the world. Our global community includes journalists, photojournalists, filmmakers, documentarians, advertising creators, digital pioneers and innovators in arts and culture. Though we speak many languages, our common thread is the desire to effect positive change through our work in media.
To this end, our mission is to strengthen the role of media as agents of world benefit. We do this by inviting dialogue, encouraging reflection, giving out awards, funding scholarships, and publishing powerful stories about the media's impact.
To us, positive change is about focusing on the world we want to live in -- not only problem solving the world we have. It's not about glossing difficult truths. It's about amplifying the best in human nature and whenever possible shining a light on the steps we can take towards the future we want.
We know that words create worlds. And at this time, we believe the world needs a new story.