I have a confession: I love reality TV shows. It’s true. Although I’m enough of a realist to realize that as viewers, we see a heavily edited version of actual reality, I still like watching the shows because they tell people’s personal stories. They tell stories about people that actually exist. I love people’s stories.
Communications at Compassion is largely about telling people’s stories. And it’s something I think we do well. However, some stories are most powerfully related by the people who actually experienced them. Something is lost in the translation of a personal story to a secondhand story … when it is no longer “my” experience, but “someone else’s.”
While we’ve known about the power of personal testimony for a while, we have only recently begun to delve into an area called social media. This is an exciting new venture for Compassion. There are so many new ways for people to share their stories, and we’re just beginning to explore all the possibilities. Through our social media efforts we want to give people a way to tell their own stories, in their own words, totally free of our “translation.”
We have created a section of compassion.com called Share Your Heart. We wanted a creative forum where users could share their personal experiences with poverty, whether it was something they read or heard, a movie they had seen, a personal trip they took or a trip with Compassion or with another organization. We just wanted to get people talking.
Some of the stories people have shared are inspiring. Some are funny. Some are evidence of God’s perfect timing. Some are challenging. There are also photos that tell stories of their own, in ways that words never could. Go check them out. No doubt you’ll be encouraged.
Do you have a story of your own to share? How has God changed your heart towards children in poverty? Who or what has he used to change you? What one picture from your trip captured the entire experience? Share it with us. Don’t be shy.
You never know whose life will be changed by reading your story.
UPDATE: August 24, 2011 – The Share Your Heart section of compassion.com is no longer available.