Weighing words

As I was rushing to a very important hair-cut appointment this morning, I heard about 15 minutes of “This American Life.” It was riveting. In fact, I immediately searched for the podcast to download it to my phone, but it was not yet available. When I returned home five hours later, I found it.

Today was different from most “This American Life” episodes. Instead of segments with a central theme, it was one story. Reported by Alix Spiegel, it was a story about her family and 81 words: The 81 words that diagnosed homosexuality as a mental illness, and the 1973 American Psychiatric Association decision that changed those words.

It was not a new story. In fact, it originally aired in 2002, but I hadn’t heard it or heard of it. It’s a compelling storytelling, told in a somewhat unique fashion. My full-time job is all about telling stories. Sometimes I forget that while trying to negotiate the brick walls and hoop-jumping necessary to accomplish everyday, little-yet-important-at-the-time things. Sometimes I forget the power of a good story.

Download the podcast, or listen to “81 words” online.

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