As a longtime blogger, I’ve often witnessed the power of storytelling to positively impact the lives of others. Yet equally often I’ve encountered people who doubt their stories would have any real meaning for others.
The truth is, there’s no such thing as ordinary–and no such thing as a lack of meaning, either.
I founded Benami Media to help empower individuals and organizations to tell their stories–and along the way discover, articulate, and begin accomplishing their missions to make the world a better place.
I was inspired to found Benami Media by the intersection of the Jewish concepts of Tikkun Olam and personal Torah. Ancient Jewish teaching instructs that we have a duty to do Tikkum Olam–our part in healing the world. Some contemporary Jewish scholars suggest that the way we live our lives brings Torah, or (imprecisely) truth and Godliness, into the world.
I interpret those two Jewish ideas to suggest the world is a closed system, leaning inexorably towards Torah. Not only do we have a duty to make the world a better place, but we accomplish that through the very lives we lead, either directly or by serving as examples–both positive and negative–for others. The more we connect with our personal truth, the better able we are to heal the world. And the more we connect with our personal truth, the better able we are to help others connect with theirs. Everything we do is Torah. Everything we do aims at Torah. The world literally self-corrects towards Torah, in a miraculous and inescapable way.
With that in mind, I believe that everyone is on a mission to make the world a better place whether they realize it or not. Everything we do and every action we undertake either impacts the world in a positive way, or serves as a cautionary example to others. But one way or another, our actions and our stories have meaning and impact.
I believe that the point of life, all of us together on this planet spinning in space, is to overcome our differences by finding the commonalities that can allow us to connect with each other, foster respect, empathy, and compassion, and build community.
I believe that brave and audacious storytelling is a powerful vehicle, accessible to all, offering the people who engage in it unlimited potential to uncover shared narratives, overcome prejudices, and connect in ways that help make the world a better place.
I believe that the same people who doubt their stories have meaning are often the same people whose stories, once shared, help positively transform the lives of others and improve the world. Often, others reach back to thank these people for sharing their stories, and to tell these people that their stories gave them hope, made them feel less alone, helped them find a greater sense of peace, and empowered their own journeys.
I believe the more we are empowered to acknowledge, honor, and tell our own stories, the more we are empowered to help others tell theirs.
I believe that all of this applies to organizations as equally as it does to individual people.
Most fundamentally, I believe that audacious storytelling by individuals and organizations, married with the courage of vision, can heal the world.
That’s my Torah.
I’m an #OpenlyAutistic gay, Hispanic, urbanist, Disney World fan, New York native, politically independent, Jewish blogger in Chicago. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I write words and raise money for nonprofits. I’ve written this blog since 2005. And counting...
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