Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–What Makes Storytelling Important?

The lovely Danyelle Leafty starts of this month of the traveling blog with the following question:

Stories have existed in every time and every culture. How come? Why are stories so important?

Human beings are such inquisitive and imaginative beings that I think it’s impossible NOT to tell stories.

To take a “scientific” point of view, early storytelling was a way to teach others, a way to create a sense of comradery, and probably a way to pass time. Storytelling has an element of entertainment, right?

Evidence of storytelling abounds. Drawings on cave walls, hieroglyphs on papyrus scrolls and stone walls, and, of course, books (hand written and later printed on a press). In a way, a story extends the life of the teller, even beyond the grave, depending on how many generations hold onto a particular tale. It’s a sort of immortality, if you will.

Storytelling means much more than this, though. It also shows our need and desire to share with others that which we create. It symbolizes a curiosity that speaks to our souls. It evokes emotions, creates pleasure and longing. It allows us to escape to a different reality. It provides catharsis.

My goodness, stories provide so many things, ti’s hard to encapsulate in one post! Tell me, friends, what makes a story important to you?

Check out Lydia’s take on the topic next Wednesday!

9 comments on “Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–What Makes Storytelling Important?

  1. Stories are a way to pass down truths about the human condition. I think there’s an anecdote in Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel that says because the peoples of the New World didn’t have written stories, they weren’t prepared for the ways in which the European invaders took advantage of them.

  2. Liza says:

    “…insuring our immortality…” I do think that is the reason sometimes we consider the stories we write “our children.”

  3. Stories give us a lens through which we can examine ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in from a safe distance.

  4. Lydia Kang says:

    Great post Laura! You hit so many good points. It’s such a necessary thing in our culture. Impossible to avoid!

  5. “It also shows our need and desire to share with others that which we create. It symbolizes a curiosity that speaks to our souls.” Very well put! Great post, Laura!

  6. Lynn Rush says:

    VERY nice. Love this viewpoint. I like what Ishta said, too, about the “lens” it’s so true!


  7. Jen Chandler says:

    Wonderful post! I’ve often pondered the importance of story. It’s communication. It helps us to say things that aren’t easily said. Usually we’re able to say the hard stuff, the important stuff when it’s disguised as story easier than if it’s presented as hard facts.

    🙂 Jen

  8. What makes a story important to me? If a story moves me to take action, stop a bad habit, change a bad attitude, see something good in others, or inspires me to believe I can make a difference for good, then I consider that it was worthy of the minutes or hours I spent reading it. I am sure this list could be expanded, but I think it says basically that I want a story to help me act better, love more, or understand others better than before I read it. Thank you for sharing a very inspiring post.

  9. Hi Laura!

    What makes a story important to me is that it has a lesson behind it. One of wisdom and fulfillment, like Max Lucado’s works. I love his work.

    I also believe that, in the old days, people told stories as part of their religious beliefs: Old Greek Mythology, Native American stories, Irish Folk Tales as well as ways to pass down family history or significant events in time or a person’s life (Davey Crockett for example).

    Great post, girl! Thanks for visiting my blog!


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