“I’ve been on four or five different kinds of sleeping pills and none of them help. That’s how bad the nightmares are.”
That’s what Specialist Miguel Cortez says in the documentary, Restrepo. Have you seen it?
We’re surrounded by a sea of people who know about things — pundits, consultants, wannabe thought leaders. But there are two kinds of knowing. There’s knowing. And there’s knowing about.
Knowing something comes from living it. Knowing about something merely means having some facts and opinions.
I know about war. I’ve watched films, like Restrepo. Read books and articles. Talked with military veterans. But I clearly don’t know war.
So, when it comes to stories of war, whom would you prefer your source to be: me or someone who’s lived it?
The best stories come from those who know. Because their deep experiences breathe life into their stories, giving them texture, context and complexity that pull us in and change us.
You know about a lot of things, no doubt. But you know things, as well — things the rest of us need to better understand and appreciate.
Tell stories that come from a place of knowing. Stories that are full of life. Stories with character, conflict and resolution. (Remember, the best stories are rarely the ones about you.)
And watch your stories rise above the sea of second-hand knowledge.