“I believe in parables. I navigate life using stories where I find them, and I hold tight to the ones that tell me new kinds of truth.”
Barbara Kingsolver, “Small Wonders”
Everybody has a story. Actually, we have lots of stories. We have stories of triumph, stories of failure, stories of dreams realized and dreams dashed. We have stories of our own knights in shining armor, and stories about how those knights fell off their white horses big time. We have stories that illustrate a point, that plant seeds of imagination, and that move people to action. Stories are the food of life.
People have been using stories as teaching tools since the beginning of time. Before the written word was invented, elders told stories to the next generation about their history, their exploits, and parables that taught them about right from wrong. To this day, we use stories to drive home our point of view or give examples of what does or doesn’t work. Stories are the seeds of dreams to come.
Some years ago while working in an office setting, as part of a team building exercise, we were each asked to write down what we liked best about each of our co-workers. My list contained some very nice comments about my being kind and caring, and having a good sense of humor, but most of them all commented on the fact that I was a storyteller:
Barb has a story to illustrate everything. She is a walking wisdom keeper. I learn something new every day from her.
We never know how far our ripple goes out into the world. Yes, I was the oldest one working in that particular office so, yes, I had a lot more “real world” experience than most of the younger women there (and being a writer at heart, I could never miss a chance to test my storytelling skills). However, it wasn’t just about telling a story as much as how I told the story … was I the victim or the victorious heroine?
We are the authors of our own stories. We can choose to write an adventure story or a horror story. We can be the villain or the hero. We can choose to tell the truth, and the lessons we learned from that – good or bad – or we can tell a fairy tale. Personally, I would rather be authentic and honest when I tell a story even if it doesn’t put me in the best light. Hey, we’re all human, we all make choices we wish we hadn’t. The great thing about telling our stories is that we all learn something for the next time we are faced with that particular type of challenge. We are all still writing our stories, and we get to choose our “happily ever after” endings.
So, I ask you now, what kind of storyteller are you, and what kind of ending are your planning to write?
Our assignment for this week over on the Home Page is going to ask you to put on your storyteller hat and tell a story that only you can tell. As always, have fun with this and remember to just keep writing.
Peace and blessings.