Alex Gentemann Hilton Head Monthly

The Power of People’s Stories

One reason I love being a journalist is I truly enjoy listening to other people’s stories. In the August issue of Hilton Head Monthly magazine, I interviewed Kimberly Hall of Bluffton Self Help (pg. 18) about a merger between her non-profit and The Literacy Center and I interviewed Alex Gentemann (pg. 100) about synesthesia and his artistic process.

Kimberly Hall and Bluffton Self Help merger article.

Both Hall and Gentemann shared compelling viewpoints and demonstrated a true passion for what they want to accomplish in life, therefore motivating me to perform better both in my community and professionally.

It does seem that currently most people are more concerned about telling their story than listening to someone else’s story. With Instagram and other social media platforms, I find myself wincing at the “look at me” mentality and culture. I also believe that being inauthentic is detrimental to all parties involved and that, as much as it pains me to write a idiom/cliché, honesty is truly the best policy.

Growing up, I would spend at least one month every summer at my grandparent’s house in Murfreesboro, TN and listen to my grandmother tell stories about her youth. It was perhaps those formative years that I developed a fondness for listening to people talk about chapters in their lives. I would find myself so absorbed in the story that I could picture it and even at times feel the same emotions of the storyteller.

I earnestly believe there is power in hearing other people’s stories. When we listen, we inadvertently hear a lower-volume version of our own voice which enables us to sort through our own shiitake and earn clarity. We are also able to be a sounding board and help people talk through their own shiitake.

Female IQ has always set out to listen to the needs and wants of women and in the spirit of Female IQ’s mission statement (to create a forum for women—just like you—to express themselves, inspire others, and kick ass in life) hope you take the time in the next few weeks to feel the power of other people’s stories.

—Becca Edwards, founder of Female IQ

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