The What of Becoming Better People

The What of Becoming Better People

by Jacqueline Jannotta

What is Becoming Better People?

I’ve previously shared the motive behind this blog and how I intend to use it. Here’s a recap:

Becoming Better People is a platform for personal stories that draw an arc from past experience to collective future growth — from Me to We.

 

And in order to fuel words with more power, Becoming Better People features and supports a hand-picked nonprofit to complement each Me to We story. The idea is to actively build a better Us by supporting outstanding change-makers, just as the stories shared here can catalyze our own change-making ability.

 

The goal is to help us point our shared compass toward a better future: one based on intention about where we want to go, rather than simply where we end up.

What kinds of Me to We stories?  Here are a few examples of what's coming:

Because my book Let’s Leave the Country! A Guide to Your Family Year Abroad, comes out in October, the first few Me to We stories will tie back to my family’s own year-long adventure in Italy. One of those stories is how a minor childhood memory built a bridge across time and seas:

faded bridge into the fogLong after I witnessed a disturbing childhood incident, I re-lived it as an adult — and it helped me understand what countless people experience on a daily basis. This “reverse immigration” episode was one of several that made our year abroad exceptional on many levels, especially as it increased our capacity for empathy in unexpected ways...

While cross-cultural themes are a big part of how I think about the collective “us”, I also gravitate toward healing as a part of “becoming better.” And a recent discovery in our life is something I can’t wait to post here, because I know it could make a difference for many others:

hand held up with bandaid on itI tell my daughter's story of healing better in a surprising way, and how she used a powerful method to get through two major surgeries. It will be one to bookmark and share with anyone you know who’s nervous about a medical procedure, or who wants to avoid excessive pain meds.

Youth and childhood offer fertile ground for stories too...

Growing up in a fairly traditional Italian-American household meant weekly Mass, parochial school, and life through a more spiritual lens. While my current views are far from what I was told to believe as a child, those experiences still shape my perspective today. One example you’ll hear about relates to my Catholic girlhood changing the way I now see women’s struggles:

many small virgin mary statuesA lot has been written about women’s oppression in the US over the past few years, which at one level is baffling, considering that women are the majority here. I started to understand this better after I remembered when a new rule went into effect at my childhood church…

And one of the things I’m most excited to celebrate here are ideas that others have for changing the trajectory of humanity towards “better.” One such post coming up is about how one simple question can change the course of the planet:

earth like a donut looking thru to sky

When my grandfather explained how basic economics worked, it never sat well with me. Then years later I read a book that turned conventional thinking right-side up in my mind. I look forward to sharing this post because I believe it can pull that same thorn out of your thinking too, which will help steer us all to a better future. Really.

Not just stories, and not just my stories

The four highlights mentioned above are just a sampling of the endless topics that might be posted here. And following each Me to We story a shorter post will feature a thematically related non-profit group. Check back next week to see the one I selected to kick off Becoming Better People.

I love coaxing stories out of people, along with reframing ideas to get a fresh perspective. I don’t just want to share my stories — but I want to share your stories too. If you have any experiences rumbling inside that are nagging to be told, maybe it’s time you share them. How do you know?

Perhaps at some point in your life you gained a whole new world view from an unexpected incident — even if you didn’t realize it till after the fact.

Or maybe you’ve re-visited stories from your past to gain a clearer, better vision for our future? Some of those stories might be ones that were passed down to you, but they stuck with you for some reason.

It could even be that you grew up to reject stories you had been taught to accept — or are having second thoughts about those very childhood stories you rejected.

Stories worth crafting and sharing are those that tend to circle back to you time and again.

They whisper their importance to you: "Tell me." It's as if they know that your life experience could change someone's life for the better. Some stories want to be told. 

I’d love to help you shape and share your ideas. Please consider reaching out if that’s of interest.

Meanwhile, I welcome your suggestions for non-profits to pair with stories, or helpful feedback in general. The goal is to encourage us to claim a better vision for our future. Please join me: subscribe to get updates, and share this site or upcoming stories with anyone you think might like them.

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