If you think about our lives as stories we tell ourselves (also called narratives) – and our lives almost certainly are in part stories, whether we are telling ourselves a good or bad story – then maybe the shapes of stories can describe the shapes of our lives, in part.
Kurt Vonnegut tells some of my favorite stories. I found a list of quotes from him – he’s got some of the most memorable I’ve seen, feel free to share any great finds in the comments.
The cool thing here is, we have the power to shape our own stories if we learn new ways to reinterpret our past. We have the power to reshape our story to somehow fit the intersection between who we are and what others tell us about ourselves. This is part of what you get in a liberal education. The stress and camaraderie forces it out of you.
Speaking of school, Kurt Vonnegut’s greatest contribution, in his eyes, was his rejected Master’s Thesis diagramming the types of possible stories, with examples and helpful pictures. I did not know this existed until I saw this concise infographic at visual.ly from Maya Eilam. Anyone who has a link to the original Master’s Thesis, for which I searched unsuccessfully, would be very welcome in the comments.
By the way, nothing helps me be calm and kind like a good Kurt Vonnegut novel. If your soul seems troubled, check him out.