The Importance of Storytelling

The Importance of Storytelling

By Josh Fickes

When I learned that this month’s edition of the Force File would be community service themed, I was at a bit of a loss.  I could not think of any good books to recommend which involved community service, and writing an article about book-related charities would have undoubtedly proven very dull.  I decided that instead of suggesting a book, I would entreat you to try storytelling.

I just told you a story.  Yes, it was short and not terribly exciting, but it was still a story.  Stories have the power to teach, to entertain, to express, and to help others.  In the story I just told you, I taught you about how lateral thinking can help solve problems, and I expressed to you my slight panic of not knowing an article to write.  Storytelling can connect people and help them, evoking emotions and teaching lessons.

Storytelling rests at the center of art.  From paintings to books to video games to movies to music, people can tell stories, share their feelings, equip others with tools to avoid that which the storyteller could not avoid, ease others’ pain, and ease one’s own pain.  Storytelling can create new worlds, bring memories to life, and change people.  That is truly powerful.

Like anything powerful, storytelling can be used for good or evil.  We can tell stories that help people.  We can also tell stories that tear down and devalue people.  Telling stories affects both the listener and the storyteller, so telling destructive tales will harm everyone, while telling stories of comedy and hope can brighten the days of all parties involved.

Every story has its own power and its own right to be told, no matter how broken or jumbled.  I hope that this article inspires you to tell stories.  I hope that you tell stories to others, to help them, and even to help yourself when necessary.  I hope that you understand the importance of storytelling, realize that it can come in nearly any form, and embrace that you can help others with it.

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