Stories are important. They are a social mechanism for passing on knowledge, sharing folklore and culture, as well as a learning tool. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?
To me, art and storytelling serve primal, spiritual functions in my daily life. Whether I’m telling a bedtime story to my kids or trying to mount a movie or write a short story or a novel, I take it very seriously.
~ Guillermo Di Toro
Why are stories important?
According to New York University, stories serve many teaching and learning functions. These include:
- making meaning – using stories to build a bridge to make the subject accessible
- getting attention – focusing the attention of learners on a predictable sequence of connected ideas
- linking knowledge in a way that is memorable – by using the story structure to make information cohesive and connected
- assimilating new ideas that can be built upon
- reducing anxiety – by using the familiarity of the story structure
We can add to that a few other things:
- they entertain and engage an audience
- they create an environment or mood
- they encourage active listening
My thoughts? From an early age, we are hard-wired to understand stories, their structures and “the way they work”. As we grow up we experience stories from the crook of someone’s arm, on a loved one’s lap or tucked up in bed. We associate them with security and predictability and become familiar with their structures. We know we can escape into a story, experience it and come out of it unscathed.
What makes a story good?
A good story engages the audience. A number of elements help achieve this. Importantly, it must hook the listeners in. The hook is achieved by being something that relates to the audience or that they can identify with. This transitions into a question or problem to be resolved. Themes and characters vary, as do story plots but these usually develop to a climax and resolution. The ending brings the “ah-ha moment” and … “should allude to the truth, moral of the story, resolution, or big meaning (NYY, 2018).
What’s your story?
Stories connect us. They are part of our social fabric – told orally, by social media or in publications.
Stories are a communal currency of humanity.
~ Tahir Shah, in Arabian Nights
Everyone has a story. What’s yours? Would you share it with me? I am looking for new stories to share. Some stories told before, and shared on this blog are listed below:
- A flexible career by design
- Straight into the extreme zone – John and Joy’s story;
- Snow-change with many happy returns;
- Meet Emi a Japanese barista and flexible lifestyler
- Jason Sauer: A life redefined
If you are happy to consider letting me put your story “out there”, or if you are a friend of a friend with a story to share please let me know by email.