If there were none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach for anything better. --Florence Nightingale
I love it when awesome words to share for the day's topic magically appear in one of my morning readings. First we look at the concept of "framing story." This comes from Richard Rohr and Brian McLaren of the Center for Action and Contemplation:
A framing story gives people direction, values, vision, and inspiration by providing a framework for their lives. It tells them who they are, where they come from, where they are, what’s going on, where things are going, and what they should do. While we all have stories that answer those questions on a personal level, a “framing story” dictates the general beliefs of a culture, nation, religion, and even humanity as a whole. Our growing list of global crises, together with our inability to address them effectively, gives us strong evidence that our world’s dominant framing story is failing.Brian McLaren continues:
If our framing story tells us that the purpose of life is for individuals or nations to accumulate an abundance of possessions and to experience the maximum amount of pleasure during the maximum number of minutes of our short lives, then we will have little reason to manage our consumption. If our framing story tells us that we are in life-and-death competition with each other . . . then we will have little reason to seek reconciliation and collaboration and nonviolent resolutions to our conflicts. . . .
But if our framing story tells us that we are free and responsible creatures in a creation made by a good, wise, and loving God, and that our Creator wants us to pursue virtue, collaboration, peace, and mutual care for one another and all living creatures, and that our lives can have profound meaning if we align ourselves with God’s wisdom, character, and dreams for us . . . then our society will take a radically different direction, and our world will become a very different place.
Certainly 2020 and just a few days into 2021 are showing great discontent. We have huge incentive to reach for something better.