By Ed Nicholson
Last week I posted an entry about the power of storytelling in conveying ideas. I’d like to continue that theme this week.
Billy Shore, founder and executive director of Share Our Strength, is probably responsible for recruiting more evangelists to the issue of hunger than any other one person on earth. He’s one of those inspiring people who makes you want to save the world, and convinces you it’s in your power to do it.
Billy is one of the best public speakers I’ve ever seen. Many of you reading this will have seen him and agree.
Billy’s speeches are always filled with stories. Stories that manage to make a direct connection to your heart, then take you quickly back to the point he’s making.
One of Billy’s speeches made a particularly lasting impact on me:
I was at a fundraising event for Share Our Strength in Washington, D.C., a few weeks after September 11, 2001, in which Billy was the keynote speaker. The trauma of that tragedy was still weighing heavily on everyone in the room—try to recall your own feelings after that shocking loss of lives. Billy didn’t shy away from the topic in his speech, instead addressing it head on (Billy, please pardon my paraphrasing).
“On September 11, we lost 3,000 of our fellow Americans in an event that profoundly affected each and every one of us. It’s amazing and admirable how quickly people were mobilized into action, collecting money, sending teams to the scenes of the tragedies, and devoting our own prayers, energies and resources to assistance. But think about this: Between the time we all went to bed last night and the time we woke up this morning, more than 3,000 children around the world died as a result of the effects of hunger and poverty. That happens every day. Shouldn’t we as caring people be equally as stunned and moved to action by that tragic fact?”
Do you have an example of storytelling that helped shape your passions? Please comment.