7,117. That is roughly the number of spoken languages in the world today . Spread over all 7 continents, this encompasses a deep richness of many different cultures, a plethora of diversity with many different circumstances – wealth, poverty, religious beliefs, race, and so many other factors. Something that we all have in common though, is stories. I have met people from all over the world, from many different walks of life, and no matter their situation, or their background, we all share a love of stories. We might not even be aware of it. But we are all storytellers. For some people this is a very obvious talent, drawing people in, and bringing even the most mundane events to life. But we all have a story. Just by living we are telling a story.
In these pretty strange circumstances of today, living through a world pandemic has gotten me to thinking. I am not a medical professional – I haven’t seen the coronavirus at all in real life. Yet it has spread throughout the world – every continent at this point has had at least a few thousand cases. Now stay with me, this is not to alarm you, or create more fear within you – there’s sure been enough of that going around! But this really struck me, that this virus has gone around the world, causing many people to go into quarantine, including myself – I’ve been in quarantine for almost two months at this point, and I haven’t even seen the virus. I’ve seen the effects, the outcomes, in many many different ways, but I haven’t seen the literal virus. And that struck me, that this is very similar to the power of stories – you hear a story, you tell a friend, who tells a friend, and suddenly – it’s made its way across the world.
Now, by no means am I discrediting the consequences of this virus, or suggesting that it shouldn’t be taken seriously. I’m pretty sure by now, you’ve heard a lot of that from many different sources. This is just me speculating about how my life fits into all of this, how my story fits into all of this, about how your story fits into all of this. This is a pretty unique time – our uncertainty in life has become very clear for a lot of us. I don’t know how this has affected your life – if you’ve lost a loved one, lost your job, turned back to addictions you had been fighting against. I don’t know if this has provided you with a needed break, if you’ve finally finished all the DIY projects around your house, or if this has given you the opportunity to spend time with your family.
All of these experiences are valid – they are yours. And your story continues through this time. There is hope – your story isn’t over. I’m sure if your social media feed is anything like mine you will have seen 85 different ways that people have used this time to improve themselves, maybe you will have even seen the tears of those who are really hurting through this time. Maybe that is you. But just as you have been created, just as you are created – your story continues, it is being written right now. There is no pressure to write it a certain way, I’m not going to tell you the ways you should come out of this ‘a better person’. There is no pressure to feel joy, to look at the silver linings, or even to feel pain. This is just to let you know that your story is worth telling – you are loved, just as you are now.