I teach 7th grade Utah History. I love History and telling stories; which go hand in hand. History should be taught through story telling, therefore that is how I teach it. Everyone has a story.
This podcast is dedicated to telling stories from history, as well as my own. When I was in college I took an ethics class for a humanities requirement. I remember one class in which the professor held up a picture of the Earth from a satellite perspective. He wanted us to look at it and point out boundary lines. Of course we replied we could not see any boundary lines. My professor’s response was that the Earth is not cut up into sections for people based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. We, as human beings, put those boundary lines in our world. He continued, “I keep this picture hanging in my office to remind me that people are just people and it isn’t our place to keep them in sections and stereotype them.” This experience had a profound effect on me. It has been about 14 years since I was sitting in that ethics class, and I still reflect on that story and the Earth poster.
Stories are what knit us together as the human race. Experiences and choices that all of us make, and have made helps us acquire empathy and compassion. Science and technology are essential for our society to progress and be successful. But stories of the human experience keep us grounded. It is a way of providing us with the necessary need to see people as people. Not as numbers or statistics. The world was not made to be cut up for specific groups of people. Through telling our own and each other’s life experiences it brings us closer to us peeling away those boundary lines that we have put in place. Everyone has a story. It is time they are told and we begin to tell our own.