“Look at the people around you, and know that the stories that they have will teach you more about yourself. Look for the stories. Listen to other people’s stories, so that you can become more open to the ways that you can attain your own ikigai (reason for being), and to be able to reach out and help others.”
Buckle up for this podcast, friends.
Guest Amanda Seewald brings her depth of experience and reflection to bear in full in this episode, and, as she does so, she challenges each of us over and over to consider the life-changing power of language and culture over a variety of generations, life-settings, and personal and group challenges.
Amanda shares in a variety of ways, often through powerful personal stories, that identity comes from our personal connection to the world, as people see themselves through their language. All of us are born to seek our identity and our connections. Listening to others’ stories and entering into their language can provide us with a powerful pathway into an understanding of ourselves and our heritage; they help to grow and heal our lives.
“Finding one’s voice is an ongoing process. I believe through the experiences we have, and through language and this search for identity which I think everyone goes through every day of their lives, by looking at their present and their past, and figuring out their future – I think that is how we steady our voices and strengthen them.”
Amanda tells so many interesting stories — you’ll enjoy the image of Amanda’s grandmother speaking boisterous Yiddish in her presence (in a time-honored tradition of heritage families) as a way of making sure she didn’t understand. That reminded me of my Croatian grandmother and how she kept me in line; I suspect many of you will be prompted by Amanda’s stories to think of many of your own, both joyful and poignant.
So listen to this episode with Amanda Seewald to understand and be inspired by example after example of how listening to others’ stories through their language and culture leads us to understand our own identity, find our own voice, and make our lives meaningful, compassionate, and strong.
And consider: In what ways have you experienced listening to others’ stories through their language and culture a doorway to understanding your own life purpose and your own voice?
Click to listen:
Listen with captions:
You can also find this week’s episode on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Or subscribe to Fluency Online on YouTube.
Want to hear more? Access previous episodes, and get to know the wonderful people I talk with through the It’s About Language page, or by clicking on the Podcast tab above.
Interested in learning more about language and cultural education and advocacy? Looking to learn more about and/or apply Gallup Strengths in your team or organization? Check out the Services tab to see how I can be of help to you.