Why do we story-tell?
Once upon a time… Four words that start a powerful emotional journey lulling every child to sleep as the familiar voices fade off into the distance and the dream world awakens. Storytelling is in the fabric of our daily lives, whether it be; bed-time stories to a child drifting off to sleep; a venture capitalist fundraiser pitching to save their company or a good old fashioned gossip with your closest friends. It’s weaved into our life and yet greatly under-appreciated.
The ancient roots of stories have lubricated the gears of humankind for millennia establishing a vital knowledge transfer transcending generations. Stories enable education through the emotion of individuals’ experiences. It is a developer of culture, a form of social cohesion, bonding people with a connection that can consciously unite them.
“We are programmed through our evolutionary biology to be both consumers and creators of stories.” — Jonah Sachs
Humans have always lived, breathing stories, even in our information-saturated age as we day-trade attention. A boundless beat on Spotify, cryptic caption on Instagram or thought-out thumbnail on Youtube, each is telling a story of the creator through the lens of their life. Our stories are our identity, it’s what makes me… Me, and you…You. To story-tell is to share a piece of yourself to the ether, totally encapsulating you, a frozen collection of emotions and experiences of a moment in your time. To go beyond words alone, creating chemical imbalances within the human body, imprinting a lasting impact.
Convincing story-telling is the hook, line and sinker. The effect on the mind is fascinating, our brain lights up brighter than a Christmas tree.
A story, in essence, weaves itself into the fabric of our mind. Firing off the different centres of the brain respectively, eventually embedding itself into our memory lying dormant for us to mould into our own and repeat the process.
The world is shaped by two things — stories told and the memories they leave behind.” — Vera Nazarian
Storytelling tips are a dime a dozen in our time, learnings that generations before us never had access to. A good storyteller will draw you in, she’ll pique your interest with commonalities, leaving you wanting to hear more. A better storyteller puts you in the shoes of her character. A great storyteller will bring you to a state of which we barely scrape the surface of, a higher consciousness, one of true receptiveness and pure emotional transfer.
So why do we story-tell?
It’s the moments in which each of us shares our vulnerability. Our stories connect us to our universal truths and learnings, moulding our perception of the world through a timeless link to bygone eras, present moments and future realities. We live for a finite time, and storytelling is a form of affection communication to unite us emotionally, intellectually and aesthetically. It’s as much about the self need to pass on knowledge, through invoking the senses as it is to see the excitement, the joy, of a story on a friends face as they fall in love with our message. Storytelling is the unseen fabric of the universe that interlinks us all, and that’s why we do it.