Stories move emotions. Stories spark connections.
Across generations, stories have passed by mouth to mouth. Adults tend to use it to teach about morality, telling children what’s right and what’s wrong. Realizing it or not, we grow up to all the stories, folk tales, and narratives that we believed were true. The books and learnings that we were taught in school became our guide to live our lives. What should we fear? Whom should we trust? What can we learn from the story?
Such stories have changed history for a greater good. Take Julius Caesar, for example. In the history book that we all learned, Caesar is portrayed as a clever, strong and wise man who played a critical role in the rise of the Roman Empire. Without the story of Caesar, we would never recognize the man who created a new beginning of Rome, which later became a significant part of world history.
Another story influenced the mindsets of society. Let’s take a look at the story of Robin Hood. As a thief who stole from the rich to give to the poor, he was perceived as a rebel. However, more than that, he became a virtuous symbol of nobility who resisted against the power of tyranny.
If we talk about The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, many people would consider it as a classic, revolutionary American literature. At that time, slavery was still a common practice in America, with a massive number of African slaves owned and bought by the Caucasians. Twain recalled his childhood experience on seeing a dozen African men and women chained to one another, waiting for a shipment in the slave market. Then, he started to write the novel that became one of the most loved and yet the most banned books in the history of America. The book itself has become a subversive confrontation on slavery and racism. The book challenged the class hierarchies and power abuse that were mainly practised during that time.
Now, in a world full of changes and instability, stories could be a significant tool that could change someone’s life. In a time when anxieties and worries have become our main supper, we tend to find hope through stories. We find empowerment and encouragement through people’s stories, one that we feel deeply connect with. By reading stories, we feel united with meaning and intentions. We feel the bond that builds empathy and reinforces trust to our way of thinking. When we cannot find a safe space in the world, or in times when we are not able to speak our voices, we have stories to hold onto.
We don’t need to be extravagant to make an impact. We don’t have to go on the streets to make a transformational impact. While everyone has their own way to create a change, you can also create impact through stories.
Write down your own ideas and thoughts, create a space where you feel free to express your emotions. While you may not realize it, but others may find your story intriguing and empowering as well.
Listen to others’ experiences and stories, make room in order for them to feel accepted and empowered. Maybe the act of being present and simply listening could help make others feel better as well.
Start reading, or even sharing impactful stories—anything that makes you feel powerful and in awe of how much that story has impacted you. Read stories that help change your perspectives about the world for the better. Be inspired and motivated as you feel moved by the stories, as it encourages you to take action.
In may not seem like it at first, but stories can change the world, and you can be the change-maker as well by simply holding on to the stories that truly matter.