Awesome Stories 359

This week Awesome Stories brings you coral art, social capital, and sharing stories.

Coraliumcoral reef, art, Awesome Stories

French artist Mlle Hipolyte has created a stunning 3D paper sculpture representing a coral reef. The sculpture, called Coralium, highlights the variety of colors, sizes, and shapes of the ocean’s coral in one vibrant piece. It also gives a dramatic sense of the diversity and delicate nature of ocean coral. Currently, the ocean’s coral are in decline due to pollution, CO2, acidification, overfishing and more. If you click through to the article, you will see the stunning level of detail. Enjoy!


Building Social Capital

The true value of our social capital may lie less in what we gain personally and more in what it allows us to build and create in collaboration with others. ~ Juliana Breines

Admittedly, this is a challenging area for me. I enjoy people but have never been great at building strong personal relationships. This has accelerated in the last few years, as I’ve turned inward more and reached out to people less, especially in person. Thankfully, I still maintain a few friendships and many online connections as with this blog. Thank you for being a big part of my social ties and hopefully, social capital. You can read Juliana’s article on social ties to better understand the many nuances of relationships. It’s not as simple as saying in-person connections are better or we have to pick one or the other. As the author Juliana Breines sums up, we each have to blend our in-person and online social ties in ways that best serve us. The real key is to keep nurturing our relationships and finding ways to connect, collaborate, and serve others.

Respectful Relationships

 Respectful relationships are a prior condition for persuasion—a point that is lost in much current political campaigning. ~  Simon Hodges

This is a great article on sharing stories as a way to build rapport and unity. As Simon Hodges reminds us, the emotional limbic system serves as a gatekeeper to process information and won’t allow new information in unless we have a connection first. This means most of us are going about things backward in our conversations and pleas to bring about social change (whether in politics, business, or relationship). In our desire to be heard, make our point, and persuade others, we forget that we must first show respect and build an emotional connection. Another challenge is that we see our worldview as truth rather than our perspective. It’s clear that in our divisive and polarized world, we need better ways of communicating. We must learn to be open, listen, and share respectful dialog if we have any chance of repairing our broken and fragmented culture. Open dialog and storytelling might just be the magic keys for building new inclusive stories that unite rather than divide us.

May your week be full of beauty, nurturing relationships, and inclusive stories. 


23 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 359

  1. Loved that coral sculpture, too! Amazing. Also I liked the recognition in that article that we need a mix of social bonds. That rang true to me. Thanks for being here and doing this work, Brad. It is appreciated!


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Anything is Possible! and commented:
    I’m happy to share this week’s Awesome Stories from Writing to Freedom and feel particularly hopeful about the article on respectful relationships using storytelling to make a connection. Listening with an open mind is powerful, and it’s much easier to listen to a story than a speech.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Friendship is a fun adventure filled with meaningful connection, and who knows how the flow will go? There’s something endearing to me about the juxtaposition of the coral art with a reflection on social relationships. My online behaviors are inconsistent, but I do enjoy my friendships anywhere (as well as solid alone time) and I appreciate fluid connections that inspire! Another enjoyable read, Brad

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved these – the coral reef piece is breathtaking. As for reaching out: I think that often happens as we get older, and we introverts love our sparkling inner worlds. The trick is finding that balance between being in our own world and the big world out there…and that can be difficult. Oh how I understand this struggle…

    Liked by 1 person

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