How Storytelling Helps Us Find Peace, Safety, and Belonging – and Tame Some Monsters Too?
Tuesday, December 5th 6:00pm
We’re delighted to welcome beloved Irish storyteller and peace activist Gareth Higgins to the Roadhouse for a special evening of appetizers and conversation! Zingerman’s Co-Founder Ari Weinzweig and the Roadhouse team welcomes you to hear Gareth talk about the history of oppressive storytelling, and how we can create connection, courage, and community in the spirit of a better story. It will be the perfect occasion to celebrate the release of his new children’s book, Cory and the Seventh Story — a story that offers something meaningful to people of all ages.
Each of us has experienced stories of fear, filled with monsters lurking around the next corner, and many of us feel unsure about what to do in response. In 2019, Gareth co-authored a book of essays with Brian D. Mclaren called The Seventh Story: Us, Them, & the End of Violence.The book explains how throughout human history, there have been six types of stories that teach us to dominate, violently oppress, or withdraw from the world and the people in it. The Seventh Story instead teaches us to face our issues of fear, aggression, and violence with love and openheartedness.
Ari Weinzweig shares how The Seventh Story has changed the way he sees and understands the world, saying:
Gareth’s stories and perspectives have inspired me in a hundred different ways. His sense of story, his explorations of how we can turn antipathy into love, war into peace, and negative drama into dignity hold keys we can all use to open the door to the positive futures we all seek.
Gareth has already co-created a profound and inspirational narrative with A Seventh Story, but he has taken it to an elevated level with the publication of a new book Cory and the Seventh Story — a beautifully illustrated children’s book written by Gareth and Brian that shows us all how to move forward in a world that can be scary to kids and adults alike. Readers will fall in love with a tale filled with endearing woodland characters, who teach us how we can respond to fear with love, peace, and community. With this latest work, Gareth shows us how he wants to help create a more hopeful, safer, and more compassionate world, and help others co-create it too:
Part of that includes claiming the truth that there are not monsters around most corners, most of the time; and that living into stories that empower us to understand how the world actually is, to bring our gifts to the table, and discover how to ask for our needs to be better met will help us when there are monsters, and actually reduce the power and presence of the monsters in the first place.
Having faced (and continuing to face) his own monsters, Gareth’s work has been forged in genuine suffering, conflict, and trauma — both as an individual and in the society in which he was born and raised. While what he is bringing us is not a panacea or quick fix for the scary issues we all face, he offers us purposeful solutions deeply rooted in the history of transformative storytelling, authentic spirituality, and courageous creativity for the common good.
Cory and the Seventh Story is newly published as of October 17th, 2023, and will be available for purchase at this very special book event, along with Gareth’s previous works, The Seventh Story and How Not to be Afraid. We can’t wait to hear Gareth dive into the book and tell the seventh story in his own words. Join us as we explore together how humans, both grown and not so grown, can, as Ari Weinzweig suggests, “make the planet on which we live and work a more peaceful and positive place to be.” Doors open at 5:30pm for cocktails and mingling, then the program will start at 6pm. You will head home satisfied from a bountiful appetizer spread and a new story to inspire you and yours.
We will also welcome Gareth to ZingTrain on Wednesday, December 6th for a very special one-time-only workshop, Beliefs About Stories & Stories About Beliefs. Don’t miss this never-before opportunity to share the day with Gareth & Ari Weinzweig as they help you to identify some of the stories in your organization and life, explore the beliefs they carry, and practice reframing them to transform your view of the future. Book your seat today before it sells out!
More About Author Gareth Higgins
Gareth Higgins was born in Belfast in 1975, grew up during the Northern Ireland Troubles, and now splits his time between his homeland and his new home in North Carolina. He writes and speaks about the power of storytelling to shape our lives and world, peace and making justice, and how to take life seriously without believing your own propaganda. He has been involved in peace-building and violence reduction in Northern Ireland and helping to address the legacy of conflict. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Queen’s University Belfast and helped teach the world’s first graduate course in Reconciliation Studies at Trinity College Dublin. He also helped found the Wild Goose, New Story, and Movies & Meaning festivals. Gareth leads retreats in North America and Ireland and founded The Porch Magazine.