Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Rebecca Woodruff's picture

Story Telling and Story Sharing

The hidden message of this piece seems to be one of responsibility. In the past two semesters at Bryn Mawr, I've taken Neurobiology and Behavior as well as a Buddhist Philosophy course, and I was astounded at how similar many of the recurring themes were. This message of this paper is one such example. We are individuals, we are capable of change, and therefore in every possible sense, we are our stories.

The only part of this paper that I found difficult to access was the use of the term "generation" in the second paragraph. I figured this term was intended to convey the changing of scientific perception and understanding embodied by the changing stories of the times, but perhaps there was another meaning as well?

In the same paragraph, I struggled with the sentence, "Both lacked a single intention or plan at their outset and both continue without a conceived goal or end state." While evolution in its purest (?) understanding might be intentionless, directionless, and purposeless, throughout the years since its publication it has been disturbingly misinterpreted and misapplied. I find it hard to accept that communities should passively absolve harmful actions simply because they were the consequence faulty stories that can be learned from. It seems to me that such an idealistic, even utopian(?)society referred to in this paper as well as in many religious texts might be hard to attain as long as our brains create stories centered on revenge, anger, and even perhaps justice. Nevertheless, these reflections as well as interdisciplinary conversations seem to be a good jumping off point for gearing our minds differently.


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
6 + 14 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.