ENGINEER 4A03 Final: Reflection on truth about stories

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Reflection on truth about stories
“A Story for Sustainability”
Citing specific examples from the book, explain how King’s book can be viewed as a commentary on
issues of sustainability, and elaborate with other specific examples of society’s stories. Feel free, if
you like, to include some thoughts on how you believe society’s stories must change if sustainability
is the goal. To help in the process: Thomas King states “The truth about stories is that’s all we are.” Give
some thought to what King really means by this, and how his philosophy shapes his approach in the
The truth about stories is a book by Thomas King where he talks about various topics such as creation
stories, traditions and history of aboriginal people. The first chapter of the book compares an aboriginal
creation story where the world is created by cooperation and understanding between animals and a
woman named Charm and her children. The second story is a Judeo-Christion creation story from the
Bible where the world is created by God without any regard for anyone else’s opinion or needs. King
demonstrates that the world created by cooperation is peaceful where everyone’s needs are met,
everyone can live happily, the resources available are used wisely which leads to sustainable living.
Whereas in the second story there is a predetermined world that has been built for two people to live in
with certain rules and this can lead to chaos. From this chapter we can also extract that the nature of
the story also depends on whether we have another comparable story, for instance if we had not heard
the story about Charm and the animals we would not look at the Christian story in a negative way.
Thomas King also tells us stories from his personal life about his missing dad who left him when he was a
kid and demonstrates that some stories are dangerous and can affect someone’s life now allowing them
to move on.
In the book Thomas King states that “The Truth about stories is that’s all we are” which means that the
stories we hear throughout our life define the way we act in while facing similar situations.
Thus in this book Thomas King shows that not only different stories but the way the stories are told
change the way people perceive the story. Further he demonstrates that we should be responsible for
the stories we hear and believe as that changes the way we think and will further tell the story. I believe
that to make our society more sustainable we need to tell stories where sharing, helpfulness and
respect for nature is promoted. We need to raise awareness to only use resources that we need and not
want in order to leave enough resources for the future. We need to change the way people think and
perceive the world around them by telling stories that promote sustainability this can be done by adding
sustainability and environmental education in our schooling system.
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