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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Everyone has a story to share

Etienne Girardet

Harter Middle School 7th graders are writing personal narratives this month. They’re learning it’s not easy to realize that their stories matter. They’ve had to consider their days -- the mundane and the extra-ordinary. There within those days, the 7th graders have struck gold.

Storytellers connect the mundane events in life to something larger. They can see how each moment holds value, even if it’s routine. Those moments allow us to zero in on the importance of life at that exact moment.

Our most extraordinary days hold stories too because they can change our thinking and behavior. On those days we may face conflicts that ask us to steel ourselves or make ourselves vulnerable. Either we rise to the occasion or fall on our face. Extra-ordinary days can show us who we really are.

Maya Angelou reminds us that “a story is what it’s like to be a human being- to be knocked down and to miraculously rise. Each of us has arisen, awakened. We do rise.” Our stories matter. And our stories connect us to each other. And in doing so, we rise together.

Everyone has one good story to share -- something valuable to impart that can be expressed through a story. The secret is to figure out what that story is.

No matter if your day is mundane or extraordinary, pause and remember that it’s part of your story, that it connects with others and brings us together as humans.

I’m Elsa Glover and that’s my perspective.