Having second thoughts about what you knew might just be the start of something powerful
The Storytellers Project is a series of live storytelling events curated and hosted by the Des Moines Register. The Register’s journalists help community members to draw out authentic, personal experiences and hone them into engaging dialogue.
It might come to you in a sudden flash of clarity, a realization that challenges what you knew to be true. Perhaps that high-salary, high-status job you’d slogged away for wasn’t meant for you after all; you were just fulfilling someone else’s wishes.
Maybe a change of perception about an issue or group inches up on you over time — overtaking prejudices you learned at home. In a diversity training session I attended long ago, a co-worker said that as a white man, he had wrongly assumed his co-workers of color wouldn’t be interested in coming to his house, so he never invited them.
Having second thoughts can complicate life, first by forcing you to re-examine deeply held beliefs, and then by forcing changes in attitude and behavior. It’s hard to discover you’ve had it all wrong about something.
But second thoughts are also the key to positive social change. If enough people in colonized countries hadn’t recognized their rights to self-governance and stood up for it, for example, we might all still be living under foreign rule.
Join the Des Moines Storytellers Project next month to hear six members of our community share stories of how their second thoughts prompted them into action.
On Second Thought
Second thoughts and their impact are the theme of the next installment of The Des Moines Register Storytellers Project on June 18. The show is at 7 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines. Tickets start at $12 and are available at DesMoinesRegister.com/Storytellers, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or in person at the Hoyt Sherman Place box office.
To learn more about the Storytellers Project or listen to stories from previous events, visit DesMoinesRegister.com/Storytellers.
Become a teller
The Des Moines Storytellers Project strongly believes that everyone HAS a story and everyone CAN tell it. None of the storytellers who take our stage are professionals. They are your neighbors, friends or co-workers, and they are coached to tell by Register journalists.
Want to tell your story at one of our upcoming Storytellers Project events? Read our guidelines and submit a story by clicking "Tell" at DesMoinesRegister.com/Storytellers.
Visit the Storytellers store
Embrace local storytelling and the feelings it creates with our latest Storytellers Project merchandise. Browse T-shirts, tote bags and more at ShopDMRegister.com/Storytellers.
Rekha Basu is an opinion columnist at the Des Moines Register and coach for the Des Moines Storytellers Project. Contact: email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @rekhabasu and at Facebook.com/rekha.basu1106. Her book, "Finding Her Voice: A collection of Des Moines Register columns about women's struggles and triumphs in the Midwest," is available at ShopDMRegister.com/FindingHerVoice