Changing the narrative one person at a time

December 7, 2012

I wrote a response to Paul Krugman’s column in the NYTimes today about part of what I think lies behind the classism he sees in the (callous) attitude towards the jobless, especially the long-term jobless, evidenced by politicians’ apparent disinterest in keeping their focus on reducing unemployment.  I said that I think there’s a self-serving narrative that some successful people tell themselves about how they achieved their success, and I said something to the effect that I think this narrative has to be corrected before their narrative about others and others’ achievements (or lack of achievements) will change.

Someone (walker, from Boston) replied to my comment making a point about how changing the narrative through [communism] failed.

So I thought, since the opportunity for me to reply to the reply on the website is not available, I might as well launch my explanation into ether here.

I think self-serving narratives are corrected one person at a time through an individual’s developing increasing self-awareness, I don’t think there is a short-cut (through developing intellectual doctrines, for instance) to correcting even a collectively-held pattern of self-serving narrative.  I think once there is a critical mass of people seeing themselves more clearly, consequences to the group as a whole may become more apparent.

People complain that not enough people want to devote themselves to teaching school.  I would say the same about people wanting to do the plain-spoken work of coaching people to become more self-aware.

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