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Hazie Thought #2: Narratives, Controlling Our Stories

Think of the person or a situation for that matter that you don’t feel particularly strong about, let’s use the age you consider someone an adult? Now think what could be said to you to change your outlook on what age one becomes an adult.

Eighteen is the age, in the United States at least we’ve agreed that 18 is the legal age society considers you an adult- being given the right to vote, no longer needing adult supervision for decisions. Any answer outside of 18 would be considered wrong, right?

Well that depends on who sets the narrative. In my home growing up for example you weren’t grown until you were no longer living at that home. Anytime we would have an issue as to what or wasn’t allowed to be done I could count on the final words to end something like this,

“kwasi, when you are an adult you can leave here and do as you want.”

Was I an adult? Technically, yes.

However, in practice, to me at least I wasn’t. Whether my mom knew it or not she helped shape my narrative of what an adult was. An adult lived under their own control. Yes being 18 was part of it but age alone wasn’t enough. Now I think about it neither was lining alone.

Looking back moms was probably wrong. Being an adult was and is a lot more complex

I think narratives work so well because they can be controlled without any work on behalf of the narrator. No one forces us to believe or uphold any specific narrative, yet much of our lives are based around narratives set by others.

Controlling the narrative is essential to controlling you. So it’s really simple, change the narrative and ultimately change who you are. Remember we’re all just doing it for the story anyway.

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charles abankwa