It’s a crisp autumn Saturday morning near Shoreditch in London. A twenty-something Urban Viking awakens. Yawning, he rubs his beard. And flexes his sculpted muscles. It’s been a busy week designing motion graphics. Now it’s time for chillin’.Later he’ll graft hard at the gym. He’s training for a mud race. Tonight he’ll hit the cool bars with his mates.He pulls his clothes on and wanders to the kitchen. The fridge is empty. Emerging from his man-cave he goes foraging for food. He crosses the road to the grocery store.Bleary-eyed, he blinks with surprise.
It’s a crisp autumn Saturday morning near Shoreditch in London. A twenty-something Urban Viking awakens. Yawning, he rubs his beard. And flexes his sculpted muscles. It’s been a busy week designing motion graphics. Now it’s time for chillin’.
Later he’ll graft hard at the gym. He’s training for a mud race. Tonight he’ll hit the cool bars with his mates.
He pulls his clothes on and wanders to the kitchen. The fridge is empty. Emerging from his man-cave he goes foraging for food. He crosses the road to the grocery store.
Bleary-eyed, he blinks with surprise.
A scruffy kitten scampers into the store before him. Unusual. It’s a video opportunity. He films the mewling creature as it darts around the aisles.
Approaching the shopkeeper he asks, “is that yours?” His question is met with a grunt. The shopkeeper hasn’t seen the kitten. And so he asks again, “is it your kitten?” Both men look down. “Mieow”. The fragile kitten gazes back at them. Pleading.
“No”, says the shopkeeper, shoving the kitten away from the bread shelf.
“Okay, get me a box and I’ll take it away,” says the Urban Viking.
A cardboard box arrives. Soon the kitten is inside. And en route to the Urban Viking’s abode.
Once there, he places the box on the floor and watches the animal clambering to get out. He scratches his head. He already had plans for today. What can he do with this feeble grungy kitten?
Meanwhile, as the London story is unfolding, I’m chatting on Skype with my sister in Sydney.
We say adios – until next time. Then plink! A text arrives.
It catches my eye. There’s an image.
A grubby kitten is peering over the top of a cardboard box.
And the words;
“I found a stray kitten.”
It goes on.
“Don’t even know if it’s a boy or girl.”
It was from my son. Ryan.
I was curious as hell, so I called him. “Tell me more.”
He did. By now the kitten had been fed. City dirt had been wiped from its face. Baby shampoo was bought to wash its mucky fur later.
“It mieow’s when I leave the room.” he tells me.
His day has been turned-upside down. His evening is similarly in jeopardy.
Later there’s another text. And photo.
The gorgeous kitten is wrapped in a scarf. A message; “bathed and ready for bed. “
He’d taken the kitten to the vet for a check-over. It’s too young to determine gender.
No microchip. No identity tag.
Just lost, cold, scared and lonely. A tiny kitten looking for love.
At last it’s safe and warm. Snuggled up and ready for bed. Two friends found each other on that crisp autumn morning. The strong Urban Viking and the frail yet courageous kitten that melted his heart.
It’s an evening in for both of them. A kitten basks in its new home. Two lives enriched forever.
It’s instinctive for humans to connect – with animals and each other too. Children have natural chemistry together. Judgment and fear are learned. They come from believing that there’s not enough for everyone. People retreat into cliques, silos and tribes. They tell stories that separate rather than stories that connect. They become entrenched and defensive. Connection is the best route to success.
In July 2015, I was on a sabbatical at Santa Cruz University. There, scrawled on a wall, in graffiti, were the words of Jimi Hendrix.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
At The Story Mill we believe that all business challenges can be resolved by connecting people. Storytelling builds chemistry between people. We help people to connect with story. And tell better stories.
To influence people, you’ve got to get connected. Want to learn how to engage and move people with storytelling now?