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.