Story published on
February 22, 2019
What games did you use to play when you were young? What about now, where do you find your happiness? What would take away your joy if you were living elsewhere? How do you decide when you found a life partner, when to marry, when to have children? Is it all a personal choice or is there a bigger picture that you don’t see?
Happiness, the future, family. These are some of the fundamental things in life I’ll try to explore on my way to rediscover the world.
After more than a decade in Journalism, covering mostly the politics of other countries, I designed Looking For A Story with a very different thing in mind.
I want to see what makes me or you or the person that we pass by on the street – what makes us all similar to any person in far-away places. How are ‘our’ lives different to ‘theirs’? What are the stories we have in common and where our paths break. More than anything, I want to see what we could learn from eachother, if we are to live in this increasingly interconnected world that comes after Marshall McLuhan’s ‘global village’.
I’ll start my quest to rediscover the world with these three topics in mind:
THE CHILDREN STORIES
Regardless of the toys they may have, I want to see how children play in various places of the world. This, I think, is a great indicator of the adults they’re taught to become. It also speaks volumes of the societies they live in. I want to tell these stories, because they will, no doubt, have something to teach us.
THE HAPPINESS STORIES
We live in the healthiest and most prosperous times in human history. Still, it has become increasingly difficult to be happy, to feel connected with other people and that you belong. There must be more to it, though. I want to learn what makes other people smile. What gives them joy. What a good day looks like for them.
THE WOMEN STORIES
I’m looking for the story of how, when and why women from different countries choose a life partner, get married or become mothers. These are all relevant everywhere, regardless of politics and culture. My country has recently had a very polarizing debate on what a family is. I plan to show what others think it is.
What to expect
Depression In Numbers
over 300 million people living with depression in 2015, according to WHO
that is 4.4% of all the people in the world
the overall number increased by almost 20% between 2005-2015
single largest contributor to global disability, according to WHO
Anxiety Disorders In Numbers
over 260 million people living with anxiety disorders in 2015, according to WHO
that is 3.6 % of all the people in the world
the overall number increased by almost 15% between 2005-2015
6th largest contributor to global disability, according to WHO
All these stories will have different stages and packagins. At first, there will be small snippets (text/video/audio) of people and their Children/ Happiness/ Women Stories.
Since I’m doing Looking For A Story precisely to get rid of the spoonful of uncontextualized information we get every day, I’ll make sure that you will regularily have the bigger picture for all the stories.
This means I will group the stories and give you the main takeaways, possible political, cultural, economical or religious explanations. The final aim is to gain some perspective and see what we can learn from one another.
Where I’ll start from
I have begun my quest for stories in Sri Lanka, a country that has fascinatingly managed to rebrand itself on the world stage in a record amount of time.
The travel bible, aka Lonely Planet, says this is the number 1 place to visit this year. There’s a huge tourism surge in Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, though, it’s only been 10 years since this Heaven-on-Earth was where you would find killing fields, where tens of thousands of people would be brutally killed or tortured in the span of some weeks. The 26 year-old civil war that took place here left a profoundly traumatized society.
There is a bittersweet irony here. Precisely on the 10-year mark of the final and most atrocious battles of this war, Sri Lanka is crowned the gem of international tourism.
Listen to the Podcast Version of this Story!