Everyone enjoys a good story. Or a funny story. Or a scary story. Just about any kind of story. If you’re an evolutionist, it’s because we’re genetically encoded. If you’re a theist, it’s because the creator knows we need stories to understand him/her/it. However you define them, you tend to remember them. Better than almost any other kind of communication.
Teachers in the classroom know this. Lawyers in the court room know this. So do popes, preachers, prime ministers and presidents. If you want to connect with your audience, better have a story to which they can relate. Think of it this way: All stories are true and some actually happened. Get it…?
Nations as well as people need them. We call these myths and the characters in them legends. Here, test yourself. Maybe you can’t give a lecture on the Roman Empire or the American Revolution. But you can recount the stories about Anthony & Cleopatra, Caesar’s assassination, George Washington at Valley Forge, and those guys in three-corner-hats who wrote that Constitution we’re always quoting when we’re demanding our rights.
Can stories make a difference….? Damn right they can. Think of the stories mom told you about the rewards for good children like Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel; or the Wagnerian stories a child named Hitler listened to in deciding there was a Super Race; or the glory of total victory a General named Patton grew up with at West Point.
Some people say we actually spend the better part of our life wrapped up inside stories. Stories we read in books, see on screens, envision in our sleep. It may be true that fiction is not only stranger than fact, it’s the stuff of which most of our dreams and doing are made of…….
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