pushing against the dominant narrative

If you missed yesterday’s post, I’m aiming to blog every single day in April.

Holy cow.

And I’m also aiming to keep every post under 300 words. Can you even imagine??

So, I love the title of this post. I pulled it off the second-to-last page of a book I finished yesterday. (The Stop: How the Fight For Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis.) Super-duper good book. Highly recommend it.

The actual quote is: “It occurred to me as I listened that it’s this kind of connection I’ve spent my entire adult life fighting to assert–pushing against what has become the dominant narrative in our society, against those who would say that we are only individuals, not communities.”

I feel like a lot of what I’m about, what my purpose on this earth is, has to do with pushing against the dominant narrative in our society. You know, things like:

“You need lots of money and stuff and personal space to be happy.”

“America is awesome. Everyone should do things the way we do.”

“You can’t be successful in life without a college education.”

“It’s too hard/expensive to eat healthy.”

“Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Stuff like that.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to push against dominant narratives just to push. I only want to push when I feel like they’re off-base and doing more harm than good.

I want us to open our eyes and minds and start using our brains and dare to question the status quo.

Question for you: What dominant narrative of our society are you (or feel like you should be) pushing against?

13 thoughts on “pushing against the dominant narrative

  1. Krysten

    I feel like I push against…
    …debt is just a normal part of life
    …traditional definitions of “mom”
    …us and them mentality
    …lots of stuff=success
    …”I’ve worked hard so I deserve____”
    And especially….
    …”Why even bother? What difference could I possibly make anyway?” and similar excuses for doing nothing when something clearly needs done.

    Love your heart, my friend. And I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s “push” so far!

  2. Danielle

    I feel like I’ve been pushing against the “every baby NEEDS (insert laundry list of things that you must have for your baby to grow up perfectly adjusted and intelligent) in order to make it through the first year.” I keep telling people our house just isn’t big enough for all the things people swear we must have, and we can’t afford all of that, and we don’t want every square inch of our house filled with stuff just because it is what everyone else has. So pushing against several things in that I guess. Sweet boy has a momma, daddy, three dogs and a cat, and tons of hand-me-down books, clothes, and a few toys. I think he truly will be lacking for nothing.

  3. Melissa

    Hmm. I feel sometimes like I push against a lot of dominant narratives. I push against a lot of narratives when it comes to the way we parent and raise our children (at least that’s the way I feel – homeschooling and such, but also more besides just that). We push against the norm by getting married early (boy did we ever – man, I can’t remember a time of my life that I was told so often we would fail). I push against norms in some of my politics because I don’t believe in political parties so I don’t toe the party line. Probably more but those are the ones I can think of at the moment.

  4. Laure

    My husband and I have certainly felt pulled to push against the grain on lots of these. Some of what is string in our hearts will certainly seem “radical” to most when we finally feel we have our answer to push forward with it. I personally believe that we are always provided for as God’s children, but why on earth in America do we equate God’s blessings with monetary blessing and lots of stuff? That is not the definition of prosperity or peace or anything really….in the wrong context that just makes us greedy and self absorbed. (i’m not condemning at all because I have so been there!) Really digging into the world this is something WE have put value on. Jesus never did! Jesus was really big in using ordinary people who were willing to follow him.

  5. Jen Hanson

    The (American) cultural norm that I push against is the one you listed first, “You need lots of money and stuff and personal space to be happy.” That’s just not true (or sustainable on a global level). That narrative is such an empty goal to chase after (but one that is REALLY easy to get sucked into).

  6. Sarah Farish

    I feel like pushing against society’s definition of family, While I hold to (and cheer on) marriages, some end without one the spouse’s feeling ready – or even feeling it’s necessary. So, when the culture and/or the church expressed failure toward them because his/her family is not “traditional” – it’s hurtful.

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