The Blog

Think of It This Way

December 13, 2023 Chad Stamm

illustration of the titanic at night with iceberg in the foreground

We all know how the story goes.

Over the span of three hours and 14 minutes, we meet a poor, young artist named Jack who falls in love with upper-class Rose. Despite his shortcomings, she falls in love with him, too, in the face of her upcoming forced marriage to someone she doesn't like. They sneak around the Titanic, avoiding family members and ship officials, in order to consummate their love. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, the side of the iron ship is shredded by ice.

Ultimately, they needed one another. For once in his life, Jack experiences the joy and comfort only the steady hand of love can provide. For Rose, that hand pulls her up and out of a dreadful life and opens her to a new world of possibilities, a new beginning she vows not to squander. Their love is a short one, though. Jack sinks to the bottom of the sea with the ship, while Rose is ultimately rescued from a piece of debris.

Yes, we all know how this story goes, but what if we looked at it from a different perspective?

What if the "Greatest Love Story of All Time" was simply a matter of how you view the story's facts and how you shrink them down?

How does a different perspective change the way we view the characters and the plot line?

Think of it this way:


Story, like statistics, can be manipulated to tell an entirely different story. Sometimes you can have two vastly different narratives both be true at the same time. Sometimes truth is a matter of perspective. Sometimes you can boil down a story and reduce it so far that the original meaning no longer makes sense, as in the meme above.

Look no further than a political campaign to see this type of storytelling in action. Oversimplification, manipulation of the narrative, taking dialogue without the framework in which it is spoken -- while all of these things might be true, they are often taken out of a larger context. The result, while maybe "true," does not equate to the whole and unabated truth.

Simply put, true doesn't always mean it's the truth, and the sooner we learn to recognize the difference between the two, the better we'll be in our abilities to communicate.

Share This:

Featured Articles