January 4, 2012

Social narratives are ultimately for building credibility for our existence. Graduating from Harvard University, writing for New York Times, working for Google, United Nations, campaigning for politicians, personally knowing famous people, winning awards, appearing on TV, publishing a book, etc.. They give meaning and value to our own existence. For this reason, most of us are more interested in social narratives than we are in personal narratives. Personal narratives have no social values unless they are accompanied by social narratives. This is why there are so many people with incredible personal stories who have no desire to write a novel or autobiography. Personal narratives, when expressed well, are fascinating for others but are for the most part boring and useless to the people who own them because they get no social or material benefit from them.

But social narratives cannot be written without grafting our own narratives to pre-existing narratives. We gain social credibility by this process of grafting, like grafting yourself to “Harvard University” or “New York Times”, because those rootstocks already have established credibility. Credibility cannot be built out of vacuum. This is how social narratives are built/written. Since credibility is ultimately a tool for survival, it only has practical values, no spiritual values. To grow as a person, we have to pay attention to our personal narratives.