Edging Forward by Ann Dale

Edging Forward by Ann Dale

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Chapter 1: The Loss of the Dragons

March 30, 2015

Unknown Unknowns

It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble now because we don’t have a good story.
Thomas Berry

This chapter discusses how we are story telling creatures, it is how we derive our meaning and purpose. Worldviews, nature as dangerous or beneficent, determines how much we consume, whether we are fearful or secure in being able to provide for our livelihoods and for those we love. Is the failure to fully embrace sustainable development about the loss of belief and a good story? How has one story (growth) so come to dominate the globe, why is there only one true story? We used to have multiple myths, gods, we were polythecratic. There used to schools of dragonology in universities until they are suddenly disappeared in the 18th Century. Are we even asking the right questions, have we begun the necessary conversations, do we have the ‘spaces’  for critical dialogue, especially when dealing with messy, wicked problems and turbulent environments.

Chapter Quote

“This beginning chapter is about how the loss of magic and mystery in our stories, the “soft stuff,” has influenced our capacity to change. It is hard for a pointy-headed academic, particularly in the social sciences, to discuss emotions. We so often have to defend ourselves from the rigour and the supposed greater validity (read certainty and proof) of the natural sciences versus the social sciences, the hard sciences over the soft. It is this kind of polarizing story that keeps us mired in repeating the same old, same old. Regardless, I believe that the chief engine of change is understanding how the stories that inform our conversations and our culture have a profound influence on our future and the future of the planet. Cultural meanings are transmitted through our stories; therefore, listening to multiple stories amplified across diverse media and advertising platforms is key to leaping rather than edging forward toward the transformative changes we now need in Canada and the world.” (p. 17)

– Ann Dale, Edging Forward: Achieving Sustainable Community Development

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