How to debunk for good the myth of a singular human experience?
How do we show our kids their stories in print, their faces in technicolor? How do we make them relate and understand the stories of those who are far away?
Simple. By embracing diversity in the stories we tell, the books we read and the collection we own. We have the tools at our disposal. Starting with the stories of your own family, the memories of the good or challenging times, when you or your mother and father were themselves children. Our families are rich treasure troves of experiences. Even if we see our families as a cohesive whole, as we listen to the stories of each of its members, and as we reflect on our own, we realized how different we can be. And that is a good thing.
As we encourage students to share their stories in writing or with illustrations, we take the next step to open the book of human experience. We guide them to realized that, even if we think we are similar, on the outside, diversity has many other layers, they run deeper than skin color, birthplace, financial circumstances, gender, age, etc.
What to do next?
From the many stories that make up your family, the many more stories that shape your heritage, you then open the windows of home to discover the diversity of the world.
Bilingual books are the gift of windows and doors, to other experiences, other worlds. They help us bridge the gap, make the connections. They take us from the known to the unknown, to a new story told from our voice, the language we know. They mean the expansion of our literary frontiers, the vanishing of those frontiers all together.
It is simple, and it is beautiful. With the colors of your story, my story and the stories of people around the world, we paint the big picture of the multicultural world we live in.
For an insightful TED Talk about the end of the single story, listen to Chimamanda Ngozi.
Share a favorite story, legend or myth that represents your heritage!