A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Humanitas Prize luncheon in Los Angeles, whose motto is “Changing the world one story at a time.” The Humanitas Prize is given to writers in television and film for “affirming the dignity of the human person, exploring the meaning of life, enlightening the use of human freedom, and revealing to each person our common humanity.” Frank Desiderio, who is in Epiphany and was the original champion of this project, used to run Humanitas and got me involved as preliminary judge reading and judging submitted scripts for them years ago.
This year, I arrived at the event just as it started, and as I settled in, I looked over and noticed David Hudgins and Vin di Bona at a table sitting by each other. Both are part of the Epiphany project – David is in the book, Vin is on the site. I remembered being stunned when both had agreed to let me film them, knowing how busy people who produce and write television are and being moved by their generosity. When I read the luncheon itinerary, I discovered both men were trustees of the organization. I had no idea that they were involved and no idea that they’d be here, much less sitting next to one another. Funny how life works, isn’t it? Friday Night Lights, the Emmy-winning television show David worked on and one of my all-time favorite shows (which ended this season), was up for an award.
I was just invited to do a vlog for a new website and after attending this celebration of story-telling, I was inspired to talk about why it’s important to share our stories, specifically our epiphany stories. The importance lies in the gaining and sharing of several invaluable gifts. Here is the short version explanation of those gifts:
1.) Wisdom – Our epiphanies contain some of our greatest wisdom and most of them become building blocks for our lives. Imparting and receiving wisdom and knowledge are some of the most important aspects of our growth as human beings.
2.) Insight – Many times our epiphanies come to us in very personal, intimate ways. When you ask someone about their epiphanies and when you share these stories with someone, you will gain insight into them, and many times yourself, in new and deeper ways.
3.) Intimacy – Sharing stories like this of personal, hard-won wisdom and insight can develop a level of intimacy and compassion that had not been experienced with that person before.
4.) Healing / Inspiration / Encouragement – The elements of wisdom, insight and intimacy can result in healing, inspiration, encouragement, and more – for both the teller and the listener. You never know how what you do or say will affect or help another human being and deepen our life experiences. By discussing and sharing your epiphany stories, many people and I have discovered that we can and are affecting one another in numerous positive and powerful ways.
As G.W. Bailey says, “When one life changes, many lives change.” As Andrea Buchanan says, “If you can tell your story, you will heal yourself and you’ll help other people do the same.” And as Humanitas believes, you can “change the world one story at a time.” But please don’t just take my word for it – start with asking your family members about their greatest epiphanies and thinking about your own and see what happens. Share them with us if you feel so inclined.
Here are some videos of the people of Epiphany from this article for inspiration. Enjoy. (And in case you were wondering, yes, Friday Night Lights did win the Humanitas award. Yay!)