Why Are We Always Fighting?

Stanley Green, a photographer whose work in perilous places made him one of the leading war photographers, had this to say about his work covering war:

”The quest is to try to understand why human beings behave the way they do.  The question is, How does this happen? And sometimes, the only way to find out is to go to where it is happening. One day the neighbors are talking to each other over the fence, and the next they are shooting at each other.  Why is it that we don’t consider life precious, and instead we literally let it drip through our fingers?”

How would you answer Mr. Green’s question? Why do we let life slip through our fingers by fighting each other?  What are humans always battling?  How can we bring a stop to this?

The Opening Lines of Your Life Story

Here are the opening lines from Charles Dickens’ wonderful David Copperfield: 
”Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.”

Now, think a moment: What would be the opening paragraph of your own biography? How would you begin to tell your own story?

Are you, for example, the hero of your own life? Or, is your life shaped by another hero?  Write your first lines so that people will want to read about your precious life. Believe what you have to say is of interest to others.

Change A Story in Your Life

*Someone wrote the following sentence on his blog: ”We can change the stories we tell ourselves.”

I think that’s a very deep, profound statement for so many of us and we struggle with all the many problems we have in our lives.

All of us carry old baggage around with us which weighs us down — for example, we feel we didn’t get the love we needed, or we failed at something and the failure seems to dominate our lives now, or we made mistakes which we can’t seem to overcome.  But perhaps another way in dealing with these negative stories is to try somehow to change them.  We didn’t get the love we needed? So maybe that means instead that we decide to be more loving and kind to others. We failed at something? So maybe we say instead that we learned from our failure and now we can use what we learned to make our life better. We made mistakes?  So maybe instead we try to approach a new situation in a new way we haven’t considered before. etc., etc., etc.
So, for today’s writing prompt, write about the old story in your own life which you would like to change. How does your new story read? Write from your heart.
*The writer of the sentence is marketing expert Seth Godin in his blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/05/the-self-healing-letter-of-complaint.html

If I could, I would…

You are writing some words for someone whom you love deeply, telling them how you would like to make their life better.

Here are the first two lines:

If I could, I would never allow pain to enter your life,

If I could, I would keep you in my pocket to make you feel safe…

Now, your task is to add at least a couple more lines — if not more.

Go to it, lover!

Make Up A Story From A Picture or Photo

Turn the pages of a magazine or newspaper to find an illustration which captures your interest. Look carefully at this picture and try to imagine or make up a story about what is going on. For example, who are the people in the picture? What is going on in their lives? Imagine you knew them and could tell about their lives, about their problems, their loves, their hates, their hopes and dreams. What are the lives of the people in the photograph like? Are the people happy, sad, angry or what? Make up a story.

You can also try to imagine that you are one of the people in the picture? What is going on in your mind? What do you feel?

If you like you can write about this person in the first person narrative. By that I mean you can use the word ‘’I’’ , such as:

I am —-

I feel —-

I want —-

I am going to tell you the story of my life —

My name is —-

Don’t be afraid of trying to become someone in the picture you are examining. That is why your imagination is so wonderful. It can take you to new places where you have never been before. By trying to put yourself in the shoes or lives of another person, you will grow and develop a broader picture of humanity.

Or, if you prefer, instead, you can also write a description or story about something or someone you saw on the streets, or on the subway or in class or at a party. Use your imagination to describe what is going on.

Or, perhaps you choose an illustration of a place or scene that you find interesting.   What would it be like to step into that scene?

Enjoy!