I’ve been promising this post for awhile, and I’ll admit it has taken me some time to wrap my brain around it well enough. Once I thought I had the standard understanding, such as storytelling is how we understand our lives, and stories are a way to teach, I realized something else.
I think that stories serve just these purposes, and they go a step further. Think about it: we are the only species that can tell stories. Stories are the basis of our communication with each other. Even in different languages and cultures, there are stories with the same themes, morals and lessons as each other.
Many species have the ability to communicate with each other through various noises, but humans are the only species that can build on each noise, each “word,” and create something larger, strung together, complex and complicated. We could do this before we could put together computers or cell phones – cavemen drew their stories on the wall maybe even before they had the words to put the stories out loud in the air or written on something.
That’s what a story means to me: the basis of our communication and our relation to each other and the world around us. We are constantly building stories every day, looking at our stories of the past, and creating our stories of the future.
What do stories and storytelling mean to you?