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DBQ 5.2: The Art of Stories:
Consider how self-understanding assists (or doesn’t assist) in self-transformation. For instance, how does authoring and/or voicing your own stories about who you are impact your presence and your experience in your community?
Also, consider the role of community not only in such self-understanding but in community-understanding? For instance, for people going into “helping professions” such as teaching, social work, or counseling, listening openly and compassionately to other people’s stories is important work. Paying thoughtful attention not only to how people narrate their lives but also to what individual experiences they have had will enable you to challenge your assumptions about people different from yourself. When considering that even professions not deemed “helping professions” involve working with others, is such ability also helpful to people working in most other professions?
Choose two or more of the pieces from this week’s reading in the text and discuss how you might use the insights the authors convey to you. What can you learn from listening to how someone tells her or his story? How might this help you in your later work helping others? Can this help even in professions not generally thought of as so-called “helping professions,” such as financial planning, accounting, advertising, media? What assumptions did you discover you needed to challenge when you read each author? How was each author challenging?
Finally, how might this benefit both individuals and communities?
The stories being referred to are from page 428 to page 467 from Deirdre Mullane’s anthology book entitled “Crossing The Danger Water: Three Hundred Years of African American Writing
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