The Danger of a Single Story - Chimamanda Adichie

5 Pages 1317 Words March 2015

The great philosopher Socrates once said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.” In life, it is very easy to fall into the trap of mindlessness. We hear or read something and would often accept that information as true because we could not be bothered with checking the facts. When we fail to understand that whatever we see on TV or read online is just one piece of an entire puzzle, we succumb to the “single story catastrophe." Chimamanda Adichie spoke about the dangers of only knowing one story and accepting it to be the entire truth in her TED Talk entitled, “The Danger of a Single Story.” Adichie is a Nigerian novelist who grew up reading western literature. She shared how she fell into the single story trap because of the stories she read. Her speech emphasized the power of a story and how it can influence and create people’s perception of the world. It creates stereotypes, which are incomplete stories. In her words, “single story robs people of dignity emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar." She encourages the people to reject the single story because it is incomplete. Although I agree with her sentiments about the potential dangers of a single story, I do not believe that a person’s tendency to latch into single stories is completely harmful to the society.
Admittedly, one of the flaws of the human brain is its predisposition to stereotyping. Instinctively, we judge a book by its cover even though we are reminded time and time again not to do it. Instead of berating ourselves for having this flaw, why not we understand the reason for its existence in the first place. Back in the old days, when our ancestors still gathered and hunted for their food, being able to differentiate between poisonous and non-poisonous plants was vital to their survival. They needed to judge something based on what it looked like because they did not have the luxury of hospitals or modern medic...

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