Storytelling is as natural as breathing. We are told stories, read books, and shown movies and television shows since the day we’re born, for some of us maybe even before. 

Reading fiction teaches us empathy, helps us to make sense of others’ feelings and experiences, and feel those things as if they were happening to us. By making sense of it all, we can then learn from them.

Stories guide us, too. They show us how things will turn out if we choose the right path, the “best” bad choice, and when a character chooses poorly, we get to experience the consequences from the comfort of our chair. They are tidbits of information for us to access when put in a sticky situation. It isn’t necessarily a way to tell us what to do, but a way of doing it, an option.

We identify with characters who are in impossible situations, foreign worlds and times, and who are not like us because we all understand what it’s like to struggle. We deal with decisions every day and we have to choose between what we’ve always wanted and what’s right. Sometimes in real life, we get lucky and find out these are the same. But our growth, just like a character’s, hinges on the path we take.

Storytelling is innately human and connects us to everything. We feel validated by the stories we tell and the ones we read and they force us to question ourselves, oftentimes within the same book.

We tell stories to connect us to the environment, to the future, and the past. It’s to intertwine our internal universe with the greater universe. It’s our contribution. Stories let us know we’re not alone, whether we’re the writer or the reader. The powerful ones help us make sense of our worlds.

I believe stories teach us how to empathize and tie us together as humans. I can’t think of a time, place, or situation where there isn’t a story told. So, go be human and tell great stories!


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