“Cold facts, flesh and blood stories – the written word is their loud hailer. They write, we read, and our world view is not the same. Nick and Sheryl’s meticulous arguments and free flowing eloquence is what inspires their readers to become activists…myself included.”
—Bono, lead singer of U2 and Co-Founder of ONE and (RED)
Is it possible to create a better world around us through a simple combination of words and faces? Nicholas Kristof, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, thinks this is the case in his book, A Path Appears. According to Kristof, there is an art to giving. He uses a collection of people and the things they are doing to better the plane as inspiration for his writing.
The use of narratives is not a new tactic when it comes to reporting. People want to hear about other people. We don’t want to talk hypothetically or use our imaginations. We want to see firsthand what people are doing and be moved by their stories. In A Path Appears, Kristof and his wife showcase everyday citizens who are using a combination research, passion and heart to keep the momentum of change going.
A Path Appears was also made into a documentary, but Kristof used a different inspiration for this medium. As opposed to spotlighting those who were making a difference, he showed those who needed help. He gets the majority of his inspiration from having conversations with the people he wants to help, stating “I have often tried to tell the story of a place through people there.” Not only do these people inspire Kristof to create articles, books and documentaries, they inspire change within Kristof’s audience. The art of storytelling goes hand-in-hand with the art of giving.