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Home » Everyone Has a Story – Some Are Hidden: Carina Ripley at TEDxSWPS (Transcript)

Everyone Has a Story – Some Are Hidden: Carina Ripley at TEDxSWPS (Transcript)


All stories are important. Even the ones that are never shared, the ones that stay hidden. Now, I’m not saying that sharing stories doesn’t matter. Because it does. Our stories can be used to share experiences, share knowledge, and make connections. It can also be extremely cathartic to give your story to someone else.

Last month, I took part in the first installment of a story-sharing project called “Patchwork Stories”. We wanted to give people the opportunity to share their experiences, with the hope that those stories would help others to answer their own questions. In a lot of cases, this was true.

But I also started to see that sometimes, it’s enough for a story simply to have happened. And that’s what I want to talk about today. While we were collecting stories, we spoke with several people who’ve been struggling with addiction. And afterwards, we were discussing as a team how best to deal with it when someone gives you a really difficult or painful story.

And one team member, who has been a drug addict herself, shared an interesting point of view. She said that when you’re in that state, you’re unable to sense yourself. You can’t help but share all of your stories, because you cannot see beyond them. People need to be given the opportunity to share if they feel the need to, so that they can start to heal and move forwards.

However, what I found the most valuable was when she said that as she started to get healthy, that need to share is gone. She wants to leave those events behind her, and move on with her life. Her stories and experiences don’t diminish because she’s not telling them anymore. Stories are important because of the impact that they had on that person’s life. And in my view, the telling of a story isn’t really what matters. It’s the living of the story that matters. I’m an artist who is inspired by stories: other people’s, as well as my own. And almost all of my work has a narrative, and contains some stories of some kind within it.

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