Like all of us, the overachieving, unfashionable NFL’s Cleveland Browns struggled to remain connected through the Pandemic. The players connected on Zoom by preparing – and institutionalising – the sharing of stories about their 4 H’s.
Heroes. History. Heartbreak. Hopes.
As we discussed in our December 12thpost, stories are the most powerful and impactful emotional tool leaders can use to connect in our ongoing remote / virtual / physical reality. Sharing stories builds empathy, understanding, trust and commitment. In the Browns example, the 4 H’s were an integral contribution to their 11-5 season, their best record in more than 20 years.
I’m using this myself now as 2022 feels like it will be off to a challenging start for all of us.
What Lois Lowry and Jozef Imrich Remember
The New Yorker: “Lowry, who has lost a sister and a son, has spent decades writing about the pains of memory. Literature, she says, is “a way that we rehearse life…
The title character of Lois Lowry’s most famous novel, “The Giver,” is an old man who guards all of human history and memory. The book’s protagonist, Jonas, is his apprentice. Jonas’s training involves withstanding the prismatic flood of the past—memories of joy and pain, war and suffering—so that his tightly regulated community can thrive in ignorance.
When the book came out, in 1993, Lowry had already won a fervent following. She received a Newbery Medal, in 1990, for “Number the Stars,” a novel about a Danish family resisting Nazi rule; her series featuring Anastasia Krupnik, a mischievous pre-teen in owlish glasses, charmed both grumpy older sisters and their parents. But “The Giver” remains her deepest achievement. Heaped with accolades, including another Newbery and a reputation as perhaps best children’s novel ever written, it has sold more than twelve million copies.
It also landed on the American Library Association’s list of the most challenged books of the nineties. From the vantage of 2021, the novel is a double portent: a dystopian fantasy and an early spark in the tinderbox of the curriculum wars…”
Cold River: a survivor's story is about man's desire for freedom during a time when none existed. Jozef describes the village in which he grew up with such emotion and sadness that the reader can hear the snow crunching beneath his expectant mother's feet as she makes her way through the snow drifts. This story is fact, not fiction, when you are finished you will know what it is like to taste freedom for the first time. And perhaps feel pain of its cost.