by Kathie England

Changing the Narrative

This month’s post is dedicated to the memory of John Lewis, the civil rights hero who died on July 17, 2020. Few people have more powerfully changed their narrative than John Lewis.

Prior to Lewis’s death, I had already selected the topic for this month, Changing the Narrative. I selected this topic after reading Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, in a coaching class I just completed.

Changing the narrative is an empowering concept. Brown says, “When we own a story and the emotion that fuels it, we get to simultaneously acknowledge that something was hard while taking control of how that hard thing is going to end.” (page 268)

Brown shares how Melinda Gates changed her narrative.

“For the longest time, the story I was making up was, That expert is ignoring me or condescending to me because I’m not Bill.”

“What I now believe is, I know just the right amount: enough to ask good questions, and not so much as to be distracted by minute details.” (page 266)

This story especially resonated with me because I recently read The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. This is the inspiring journey of a woman truly finding her voice, changing her narrative and the world with the work she and Bill do through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As I listened to the tributes to John Lewis, a hero who never stopped fighting for his beliefs and living his values, I decided to share some of his words that I hope will inspire all of us, especially during this pandemic year of incredible challenges. And as we draw ever-closer to election day on November 3.

“What did you do?”

“Where do you stand?”

“If not us, who?”

“If not now, when?”

What small step can we each take to change our own narrative? What small step can we take to change the narrative of this nation?