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Appetizers and Insights—How the Stories We Tell Shape Our Lives

presented by Zingerman’s Roadhouse & ZingTrain

We’re delighted to welcome beloved writer, activist, and creative convenor Gareth Higgins to the Roadhouse for a special evening. Join us for an important conversation about courage, creativity, and community, based on the ideas in his new book, How Not to Be Afraid, and decades of experience seeking to nurture communities who learn and share a better story.

How Not to be Afraid is ripe for the moment we find ourselves. Each of us has experienced stories of fear, uncertainty, and pain, and many of us feel unsure about what to do in response.

Gareth explains how fear feeds on the stories we tell ourselves, and invites us to change the course of our stories through habits of hope and action for the common good. He says that the story we tell ourselves about our life “is the single most important element in determining our happiness and the kind of life we will lead. It is immensely powerful, though most of us aren’t conscious of this much of the time.”

Ari Weinzweig shared that both How Not to be Afraid, and Gareth’s previous book, The Seventh Story, co-written with Brian McLaren, have changed the way he sees and understands the world, saying:

Gareth’s stories and perspectives have inspired me in a hundred different ways in the last year. 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.

The story we tell about the world shapes how we live. As Gareth writes, “Imagining a new story is a privilege. It is also our responsibility.” We can’t wait to explore this together as we change our stories and determine the part we play in, as Ari suggests, “the possibility of making the planet at large, as well as the small part of it in which we live and work, a more peaceful and positive place to be.” You will head home satisfied from a bountiful appetizer spread and with a wealth of new insights to ponder. Books will be available for purchase and autograph at the event.

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.