A story comprises a beginning, middle, and an end. The “Beginning” is where we came from and who we were. The “Middle” is who are we now and where we stand. An end is what we dream to become. Everyone on this planet has a story. We all have lived in the past and the past has a story linked to it. These stories are the greatest ways to tell people about our life like who we were and what we have been through. And these stories can have a very deep impact on our lives.
Stories are very powerful and they have this tendency to change our lives for better. Some stories can entirely change the way we think. Some stories motivate and inspire us to do something grand. We express our deepest emotions through stories. To convey deepest of our thoughts, we tell stories as they appeal to our reason. Stories provide evidence to our past. It’s just by nature that we all are storytellers. I do not know whether we have inherited this trait but this trait stays with us forever and we all become storytellers as soon as we learn to speak.
A research was conducted at Princeton University where a psychologist and his colleagues had a team of graduates. The research showed some astounding results. A graduate was telling an unrehearsed story. His brain along with the brains of 11 other volunteers was scanned by a fMRI machine (functional MRI). When the results of the scan were analyzed, the researchers found out that while the speaker was telling his story, his brain lit up in the area of insula (a region in the brain responsible for empathy and moral sensibilities). That’s not it. To their surprise, the insulae of all other 11 volunteers lit up too. The listeners were actually imagining the story. They were thinking about the emotions of the speaker.
This is how a story affects us.
Stories have a great Influence
Well if you think about the power of the stories then you’ll find out that it has a very deep impact on our lives. A story about a Tibetan boy was told, which made people become like that boy. The boy gave a cake to his mother while he was hungry big time. People began to feel the emotion and the love of the boy for her mother. People were so much influenced that they decided to do the same and help others when they can’t help you back. They learned that hard times are not really hard unless you make them hard.
Steve Jobs had rightly said, “the most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storytellers set the vision, values and the agenda of an entire generation that is to come.“
Stories Inspire and Motivate
We hear stories of some of the greatest business entrepreneurs. We all know about Bill Gates. He began writing computer programs when he was 14. He was so passionate about programming. At that time, he was able to write programs for a computer Operating System. Then there is the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg who was a college dropout. He was suspended from the college for a year for hacking into the Harvard University’s computer. Donald Trump won the election because he was such a good narrator. He made people buy into his story and that’s something which helped him win the election. And when we hear these stories, we feel if they can do it then we can do it too. I know there are many stories that you can relate to yourself. These stories inspire you and motivate you to do something big and you actually start to work hard to accomplish your goals. So yeah, these stories are really powerful and are capable of changing our lives.
Stories change Life and Society
We hear a lot of stories which are inspiring, happy, or sad. These stories have a serious impact on our lives. We hear stories about oppression and that human in us feels sad. So we think about making a change. We take steps to avoid things like these. We hear stories of people suffering from diseases and we feel it’s something that should be eradicated from the society. So we take actions to stop the disease and help those people.
Everyone has stories and everyone is a storyteller but the one who uses the paraphernalia of distinctive storytelling effectively knows the power of stories. Adichie knows what the relation between the story and power is.
“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”