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Character and Place: How We Shape Home and Home Shapes Us

Growing Up

Submitted
June 25, 2018
Published
June 27, 2018

Abstract

Rather than preach to the reader about the virtues of valuing education and stable two-parent homes or the harm of psychological abuse or the bad decisions that many of the poor make, I relate a story. The tradition of using illustrative stories is an ancient one, a way of educating that Jesus himself adopted—most of us are more likely to understand forgiveness through hearing The Prodigal Son than by being preached to about our shortcomings. A central lesson of creative writing instruction is, "Show. Don’t tell." In this essay, I depict people and events that shaped me during my formative years in rural North Carolina.