My place of birth, Puerto Rico, has produced many artists in a diversity of disciplines. From Benicio del Toro to Ricky Martin. Locally we see our international stars in mainstream media as actors, singers, and entertainers.
The creativity of these folks and their experiences might create the perception that the rest of island does a decent job at expressing their creative side. As I wrote in my previous post of sharing our story I think we are missing out on a great part of sharing and documenting our history.
Too Many Negative Stories Are Published
In Puerto Rico, a very small group tightly controls the press. It is very easy to miss out on many of the stories of those doing social good. I personally would like to see more stories of people doing positive things. Those who are positively impacting the communities and environments around them and succeeding in bringing long term change that will improve the well being of those to come.
Why might this happen?
I try to stay away from the local press as much as possible. Even when I attempt to stay away, negative stories reach me via feeds on social platforms.
When a negative story reaches me I ask myself why is it that people are so inclined towards sharing negative stories?
Last year while I watched Mayra Santos-Febres’ speak via the web at Tedx San Juan, I felt I found one of the main reasons why the positive stories are not shared and much less amplified.
Professor Mayra Santos-Febres spoke about how Puerto Rico was a “Cafre” Country. Cafre is a term that is currently used to put a title on someone who seems to be less educated. According to Mayra the word also describes tribes who worked the land and where specialized in coffee crops. To capture the great job Mayra did at identifying one of the reasons we miss out on many of the stories, sit down and watch the full video. (It is about 15 minutes but believe me its worth it.)
Mayra reminds us how Puerto Rico has a small literary history. She touches a sensitive subject on how many Puerto Ricans think they are not able to write. The problem; they rather not write or wait for someone else to do it. Not being able to share our stories hurts us in a many ways. The reason I shared Mayra’s video is because I identified with the many times I get requests to write a blog post about an issue. The problem is that I don’t know the issue well or an even bigger problem, I might not have the time to sit down and write it.
More Stories About Accomplishments
So many people in Puerto Rico and around the globe struggle to make a living. We need more stories like the one below where a school Principal was able to overcome adversity by brining a complete community together. This resulted in improving the lives of high school students.
Are you up to the Challenge?
We need everyone to get going and sharing his or her perspectives.
The only way to put our Island in a better state (or your local communities wherever you are) is by sharing our stories and finding people who have common interests.
If you decide you are up to the challenge feel free to start writing and let me know if I can support your writing efforts in any way.