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  • Mary L. Hanna

Why We Should Share Our Stories

Guest Contributor: Tasneem Sultan from Human Connections


Stories are ways in which people describe meaningful events in their lives, faith, or cultural traditions that are important to them. Those experiences can transform people's lives and influence them to change their perspectives and behavior. People have been sharing stories since ancient times to keep their traditions and culture alive. Telling these stories was essential to transferring practices and traditions across generations and preserving history. At a point before written language, stories prevailed through word and song.

So why do we still need to tell our stories? Why are they so valuable? In our divided and unjust world, more than ever, we must share stories and keep traditions alive, as storytelling is a practical and enriching experience. Sharing stories is also a form of catharsis as it allows oneself to release emotions and experiences, which can be a healing process, especially if someone has been through challenging times.

We all have stories of injustice, struggle, faith, immigration, oppression, love, hope, or resilience. Stories connect people on a deeper level, help us feel empathy for each other, and build deeper relationships. By telling stories, we learn to walk in each other's shoes.

Having lived in different parts of the country as a first-generation American Muslim, I have faced discrimination and been judged based on stereotypes and assumptions, which has left me feeling like an outsider at times. An example of this was when I went to renew my driver's license and was asked to remove my hijab (headscarf) for the photo. I was shocked and appalled but politely asked the lady for the rules. Her colleague confirmed that there were no such rules. Rather than allowing bitterness to consume me, I have used these experiences to invigorate my fight against injustice and promote awareness and acceptance. I joined various groups and organized workshops and events to educate people about diversity and inclusivity.

Despite the challenges, my determination has only grown stronger. It's been inspiring to see people from different backgrounds come together, learn from each other, and work toward global peace and coexistence. My story is still unfolding, but I hope it inspires others to open up to change and share their own stories.

Telling your story is a compelling and meaningful practice that can have a positive impact. Stories spread across borders, broadening global perspectives, overcoming fears, fostering resilience, and deepening compassion. Stories are timeless, fit in all cultures and times, and resonate with us. Through sharing stories, we uncover our humanity and build connections.

Human Connections provides a platform for diverse voices to share their experiences. So don't hesitate to tell your stories—they matter, and they can make a difference! Join us on this journey and tell us your story!

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