I am a believer in fiction. In the power of stories, true or not, to change our lives or change our perspectives.. I have a friend who only reads non-fiction and believes that non-fiction books are 'education' and what I read is 'entertainment.' But we've dropped the subject between us because neither was budging.
Books, movies, comedians all use the power of stories to open different pathways in your mind. When Joe and I went to see "The Peanut Butter Falcon" an entirely fictional story, I wasn't expecting to laugh, to cry and to learn so much. The movie which stars an actor with Down Syndrome grabbed me right at the start and in telling the story brought me face to face with vestiges of ableism that I had tucked away, hopefully out of sight.
Arriving at work the next day I began the process of turning this movie into a training opportunity. In the end we had nearly 30 staff come to an early afternoon viewing of the movie and then we all trooped back to the office for a discussion about what we'd seen, felt and learned while watching the movie.
The movie touches a lot of emotional chords and it was easy to see that people were deeply affected by what they'd seen. We heard a lot of voices and a lot of perspectives and soon we were learning from each other as well as learning from the movie.
It was awesome.
On top of that, we are an organization that serves people with disabilities, we near filled an empty theatre to see a new kind of disability story, supporting this kind of movie in any kind of way is certainly part of our mission vision and values.
I had a good day at work.