This is a reminder that story telling is not transactional, it is transformative and relational. Connections are made in our minds and with the people around us through story telling that might not happen any other way. The connections from other people's stories spark us to tell our own stories in new ways.
The Positive Implications
Now that we have discussed the power of story and how it is consistently structured in the media we consume, it is important to dive deeper into the positive implications it has for each of us. I would like to look at this from a receptive point of view when we operate as the viewer/listener/reader, as well as when we operate as the story teller ourselves. This is important, because I am by no means advocating that we have to be super leery of stories or that they are an abusive tool used by the rich to control our minds and actions. We simply have to filter what stories we allow the media to speak into us. Again, stories are an important and effective form of communication that can help change lives, inspire others, and make connections that would otherwise be impossible.
Stories are incredible gifts that are floating all around us. There could be a story in a book, song, or film that you experience tomorrow that changes your whole life in the best way possible. Each of us has the potential to let in so many different types of stories in so many different forms and genres. Because we receive stories a lot more than we tell them, we can easily grow numb to the power of them and even fail to notice how much influence they have on our lives. When you become conscious of the potential of stories all round you and in yourself, you can begin to experience life in a fuller way.
Our individual experiences are so limited to our physical location, our decision making, and our circumstances. There is such a vast world of beauty and miracles out there that create breathtaking events both good and bad. It’s impossible to fathom what everyone else is going through and what stories they have to tell. The new coworker beside you may have a story about her life that completely shakes the way you see your own purpose. Her story of tragedy could spark your story of perseverance and triumph. Ultimately, from the receptive point of view, I believe stories have the power to positively transform you by expanding your understanding and experiences of life in a way that creates change. All of this is made possible through the connection that was made through the story. When we consume movies and TV shows, books, and songs, we should try to remember this and think about what connections, impulses, and thoughts we are receiving.
As story tellers, which I believe we all are to different degrees, we can put ourselves in the drivers seat and transport someone into a new perspective, experience, and journey. Whether it is a fictitious story we create or one that truly happened to us, there is immense potential to use our imaginations and experiences to impact lives. You simply do not have to be a filmmaker or author to tell a good story or share your journey in life. Your story matters as much as your favorite movie or book, it just might reach a smaller audience or connect in a different way.