Story telling is one of the powerful ways to connect and pay attention to complexity of life and find ways to go about it in a bold way.
Facts and statistics are impressive but may fail to inspire us to act meaningfully. Having sat through hundreds of power-point presentations I know that well. I can hardly remember or recall any well-meaning slide urging me to take some action that would change my life.
But stories are different. We remember stories long after we hear or read them. Stories come to our rescue when we face strange situations. Why?
This is because stories touch our emotions. At times it hits us hard. At times it makes us cry, bewildered, bemused,…. But it every case it evokes our emotional energy, the common currency of any human exchange.
It is the emotional energy that guides us through and helps us spring into action.
So telling stories help us look at ourselves, explore our minds and our unconscious, take decisions and act rightly is an important skill. It was important to us as we evolved as a human species and would continue till we inhabit the earth.
Story telling has at least 5 important components, which are –
a) A place
b) A time
c) People with their characters
d) Actions, often expressed through dialogs
e) An unexpected event.
This is the simplest basic form of story telling. There are however, nuances in story telling and certainly different genres starting from a “6 words story” to novels and epics. Stories are told in different ways — through written words, poems, haikus, koans, dance, drama, songs, music and art.
Whatever it might be, it is the ‘unexpected event’ that brings us face to face with reality. It is the ‘unexpected event’ that is the product of complexity. It is the ‘unexpected’ that changes our quality of attention. It is the ‘unexpected’ that offers us a lesson for life, worth remembering. It is the ‘unexpected’ that incites us into action and help us face and live life squarely and to the full.
So tell me stories….. show me the ‘unexpected’ and you would be doing me a great favor … helping me to live….