The other day I noticed a little boy with his mother in a park. He saw me running, and suddenly my legs weren’t all that were turning over. ‘Man,’ said the boy to his mum. ‘Man running…Man running park.’
But, if you think that, think again.
That boy knew what he was saying. His mum knew what he was saying. And so did I.
That boy was telling a story. And in doing so, he was continuing a tradition that has been part of our lives since prehistoric modern humans painted cave paintings. From bison in red pigment to hieroglyphics, stained glass windows to movies, songs to books, text messages to tweets…stories help us make sense of our lives and our world. They help define us as human beings.
Stories are the ultimate time travellers, and…
Just think how they can make you feel.
Tears, laughter, sympathy, empathy, anger, hatred…nothing is impossible.
And of course, how do stories make you think and behave? I’ll leave that question for you to ponder.
Importantly, critically, our use of stories highlights one of the most incredible traits of human behaviour. Indeed, it is not so much a trait, but a gift. That is, we create stories in our own minds, and even after we may place them in the public domain, stories return to our minds for the very personal process of meaning-making. We can each interpret stories differently, and these interpretations can influence how we live each and every day. That’s powerful.
Think about it.