When we were growing up we used to love being told bedtime stories by our parents. All the “once upon a time”s that used to get us excited. I remember when I was a child my dad would tell my sister and me stories about a “sher” (lion) in a jungle. I used to love them!
When did that change? Did you notice that moment in your life when you said out loud in one way or another – “I don’t have time for these stories!”
Yeah, that happens to most people. And today, I’m really wondering why..
Why did we stop telling each other stories? And when did we stop having the patience to listen to a story?
In almost every culture in the world, people would gather around a fire or an evening meal and tell each other their stories. How far they went into the desert or jungle that day… what they saw, what they went through…what they discovered.. what they learned… who they met, what conversation they had.
Stories of accomplishment, of failure, of new things seen or done. The important thing was to share. Share with one another. Really try and pass on your experience to another. Because, end of the day, every single experience is a story!
And I think more important than wondering when we stopped sharing is to ask ourselves why we stopped sharing. No patience? Really? So you can spend time on the internet or in front of the idiot box?
How many families today make it a point to have dinner together and talk about each other’s day? How many of us are genuinely interested in our friends’ story about his/her day? I, for one, love listening to my friends’ stories, even if they are as inconsequential as the time they dropped off the laundry and the laundry man was really annoying! Why? Because there is something really fun about watching a person tell a story! Their eyes light up, they go into this story-teller mode enacting the scene and the characters, their face contorts with all the said emotions they are trying to convey to you from that moment… it’s not only hilarious, it’s also fascinating!
But you know, I’ve noticed this a lot, when people do listen, they listen to advise or provide solutions. Not to just listen for the sake of listening and sharing.
And when people share, they share to gloat. Not to admit their failures and/or their lessons.
Stories are beautiful. Stories have a living energy.. of a life lived.. that we pass on from us to others.
Even if they are made up tales, they came from your imagination, so pass them on.. to your children who will remember them forever.
Even if they are stories of mistakes you made, pass them on.. to your siblings who could learn from them and think you courageous for admitting your failure.
Even if they are stories of failures at work, share them… with your dad, he will know you worked hard and learned your lesson for the next fight.
And even if they are stories of heartbreak, share them… with your friends, they will know you are human… just like them.
Share your stories. It is one of few remaining real human interactions we have left in the world today.