Why Stories Matter

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As we grow older we lose interest in stories and prefer cold, hard facts. To a degree facts are necessary.

But it’s when we lose sight of the importance of Story that it becomes an issue.

To lose interest in stories is to lose touch with humanity. Let me explain.

Stories, whether they’re true or not, are used as one of the most powerful tools to extract emotion. And emotion is what drives not only ideas, but movement.

Fishermen are driven to catch larger fish because they’ve heard of others who have caught large fish. They heard a story.

Humanitarians are moved to go across seas to feed and care for orphans because they saw a video of starving kids. They saw a story.

My kids go to sleep because we read them stories.

Stories, since the beginning of time (think papyrus and cave drawings) have aided in informing us, teaching us, moving us, and challenging us. Stories are the gears that churn ideas into movement.

Now, to be clear, not every story is a necessity. If we’re honest, we could have done without Dumb and Dumber, as hilarious as that movie is, but it doesn’t really do much to enhance our lives.

But think about how stories can be helpful. Think of the stories that have helped you in your own life. A few come to mind for me both in movie and book form:

The Bottom of the 33rd by Dan Barry is a literary example of how the right person can take possibly the world’s dullest subject and make it invigorating, exciting, and entertaining. This is one of my all time favorite books.

Cinderella Man is a movie that demonstrates that even in the face of something as harrowing as the Great Depression, we can overcome many things by using our natural-born talents and a butt-load of tenacity.

Toy Story proves that being the first doesn’t mean it has to be experimental. This movie broke new ground and still lives on today as one of the greatest movies ever made (if you’re not counting the sequels).

Did these stories change my life? I wouldn’t say that exactly, but they did help shape the way I think and view myself and the world. Therefore, I persevere, I fight, I explore, and I strive for greatness. Every time.

What are some stories that have shaped you and your life? Share below how you think Story can be an effective tool to better the world we live in.

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About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

18 Responses to Why Stories Matter

  1. LM Pampuro says:

    ❤ this! Stories are what makes us human…

  2. Dacia says:

    Such a humbling insight. Great read! Thank you.

  3. I’ve always preferred stories to cold, hard facts – still do! Even Dumb and Dumber has its place – silly humour keeps me sane!

  4. VocareMentor says:

    Your words, “Stories, since the beginning of time (think papyrus and cave drawings) have aided in informing us, teaching us, moving us, and challenging us. Stories are the gears that churn ideas into movement.” – That is so well said. I have forever felt the importance of stories, in any form, fiction and nonfiction, in my life. – Excellent post.

  5. Tay.Laroi says:

    As a teenager I read Neal Shusterman’s “Unwind” and it shook me to my core. It’s a futuristic world where troubled teens can be “unwound” so that their organs can be harvested for transplants. Near the end of the book, you actually sit with a character as he’s been unwound and that scene messed me up for a few days. My sister read it too and couldn’t even finish the book.

    It showed me that, when it comes to policy, laws, and even the very fabric of culture, you can throw around as many facts and figures as you want, but the huma experience is going to have a more powerful influence, for better or worse. I still think about that book a lot.

  6. thewriteedge says:

    I think the first stories that imprinted themselves on my heart were the Chronicles of Narnia books. Then it was the Zion Covenant books about World War II.

    I felt my first crater-sized impact from The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. When I read that book in high school, it was the first time I’d ever read anything by anyone anywhere who discussed Indian characters and the dichotomy of being a part of the Western world and having ties to India.

    Stories matter, like you said. That’s why it’s our job as writers to keep them alive! :>

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