‘The reality is that most of us have had hurt experiences in which we learned to care:’ Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz

In an article called, “To Allow Yourself to be Seen So That You Can See Others is Very Powerful”, Harvard Kennedy School Professor Marshall Ganz writes on narrative for social change.

I found it on one of the sites I read sometimes, to keep up with news in journalism.

Relevant, because my weekly e-mag, S P A C E, which is crowdfunded and trying to become more bulky in 2024 with a new format, and more stories. Stories I discover, and write and share. These are about other people and how they see things. Wanting to know their stories, well outside of the frame of my United States of American boxy confines, which are terribly programmed, was why I started my own zine. Naturally. I’m all about doing what I feel is meaningful, the way I can, with the tools I have where I find myself. It’s a path that some call ‘free spirit’-y and my clients for consulting work for breakthroughs in innovative thinking call ‘very helpful, thank you for this fresh perspective, Dipika.’


The quest for new, and real, stories: of us

I feel S P A C E got started in response to something that also seems to be alluded to in the excerpt from the article that I have pasted, below. Namely, something like, Bigwigs who write things and tell us what to think are not who I want to be directing what splashes across my desk and screen.

People are.

Real people, like you and me. Telling our stories, as honestly as we can. Without agenda or ‘fake news.’ With the most respectful, authentic human-to-human story we can tell. I made a new podcast this year, to go along with this idea, too.

The podcast is at my personal site.

Anyway, here’s the piece I thought was cool.

“To Allow Yourself to be Seen So That You Can See Others is Very Powerful” by Ganz. The excerpt:

‘When your profession is telling other people’s stories, what about your own story? Well, that’s challenging. I think it’s critically important because you’re telling other people’s stories, but not from nowhere.

‘We all have perspectives. We have life experiences. We have values that attract us to the stories we want to tell. For me, it’s been a useful exercise to get clearer about what one’s own motivations are. There’s a way in which things can be influences on us, that can become resources for us, including the sources of our own motivation and the sources of our own caring. That’s what we get at with the story of self-work.

‘The more we teach this stuff, we discover how fundamental it is to struggle with articulation of, “Why [do] you care what you care for? Why are you doing what you’re doing?” Because the reality is that most of us have had hurt experiences in which we learned to care. If we hadn’t had those experiences, we wouldn’t think the world needed fixing. Also, we have experiences of our worth and our value, or else we wouldn’t be here trying to change it.


The full story is here:





Photo: Van Tran, Atelier S P A C E Ho Chi Minh City, 2021