Global Narratives started from a smaller project called Perspectives. This was an effort to prove that everyone not only had a story to tell, but a perspective and understanding to life that could connect people instead of dividing them. The goal of Perspectives was to show that the people we pass by every day are there and have value that we too often overlook.
In expanding this project to an organization, Global Narratives sets out to tell peoples’ stories from around the world. Caleb Larkin, a journalist and travel enthusiast, started the foundation with the goal of traveling the globe and sharing the stories of individuals we would otherwise pass by without a second thought. His belief is that as we share stories and humanize individuals, we are less likely to jump to biased conclusions and can see more of “us” and less of “them”. The goal is to help evolve and mature cultures much as we mature in our interactions within our cultures. As youth we struggle to see selflessness as a self-promoting option, our view or perspective is limited. Yet as we mature, we see how treating others with respect, kindness and honesty, leads to prosperity.
We as individuals, for the most part, have developed to the point where we can see others like us with a heart of empathy and consideration for their circumstances. Yet as we look further and further away, to peoples and countries different from our own, we have the tendency to categorize. Categorizing people can eventually lead to an “us” versus “them” mentality, eroding communication and understanding. Essential we devolve back to our toddler mentality with an inability to see anything beyond our immediate needs, fighting, screaming or arguing when something does not give us our immediate benefit. We overcome this as we mature with individuals we interact with and feel comfortable around.
Yet take us out of comfort zone, pit national identities or cultures or skin color or beliefs against each other, and we revert back to an inability to see past our own immediate need, not as an individual, but as a group. We sometimes react with irrational hate, conflict and distrust. Nations fight against nation, culture against culture, people against people often because of misguided understandings or beliefs that the other is lesser, wrong, inhumane or evil. The breeding ground for radicalism is a lack of exchange of thought. Global Narratives hopes to combat this by sharing thought and perspective to help us see others’ as humans and treat them as “us” instead of as “them”.