To start the year off, I thought I would give you "the ladder test." The above picture of firemen falling off the ladder was taken on Christmas eve many years ago. The arrows point to firefighters who are falling to the ground, head-first, from a ladder that broke while they were fighting an apartment building fire. What story would you tell if you were the falling firefighter and survived the fall? Would you focus on the faulty ladder, the dangerous working conditions, the civic budget cuts that led to the use of such aging equipment?
My dad was one of the head-first falling men. His story to me about the fall? It was a Christmas miracle...the fresh snow on the ground that night saved his life and the lives of the other firefighters who fell. He and the others, my dad said, had been blessed by a white Christmas.
My dad's framing of that story (and of many others) helped foster in me a sense of enduring hope, and the realization that we have a choice of how we respond to the bad things that happen in this world, and an opportunity to impact others' world views by how we tell our stories. With my backdoor blog, I explore the larger conversation about how sharing stories can shape the world. Stories shape who we trust, what we buy, and how we respond to crisis and those in need. Today, technology provides us with more ways to share our stories than ever before, and for me, that means we have an even greater responsibility to consider how we tell them.