The Danger of a Single Story

The Danger of a Single Story

            Based on the TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2009), “The Danger of a Single Story,” the story presents the idea through a series of examples of different scenarios of single-sided stories. The speaker closes her talk with several conclusions on the dangers of a single-sided story and points out how great it would have been if, in the different scenarios, the person had opted to view the stories from two sides before making up their mind. Chimamanda (2009) insists that there is a joy in making conclusions from a two-sided narrative, from the whole story rather than believing in only the one-sided story. We will explore the dangers of a one-sided story perspective from Chimamanda’s talk. To back this, we employ views from another TED talk by Michael Patrick Lynch (2017): How to see past your perspective and find the truth. 

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            “The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar” (Adichie, 2009, 13:37). 

            “I would like to end with this thought: That when we reject the single-story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise” (Adichie, 2009, 18:10).

            The speaker points out that a single story is often from a point of ignorance, lack of knowledge or being told from a point of malicious intentions. She emphasizes the need to also hear a story from the other side to be in a position to make an informed story, decision or judgement. 

This quote from another TED does emphasizes on acknowledging that in most cases, our perspectives on things are usually one sided, and the best thing to do is to try and expand our understanding of things. The speakers term the understanding as liberating just like Chimamanda pointed out about finding about the other side of the story. 


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