An observation is taking root in my soul. What happened to our stories? The secular media pounds us with information. What is missing? The story is missing. I’m beginning to think we have lost the art of teaching through words.
Right now in American life words are used to cut and tear down. Propaganda and lies are mixed in the information we receive daily. On top of that the context of the situation is stripped away until all that is left is the sound bite.
I keep thinking: Tell the stories. We the elders, parents, and grandparents have to be the storytellers.
I was thinking of stories in my life and I found myself envisioning a morning hike up a mountain trail. Finally, I get above the mist line and look out across peak after peak of the mountain range. I turn 360 degrees to see the entire mountain range surrounding me.
Likewise I could see the stories unfolding every day as well as from the past. They surround me like the mountain range. I have my past to learn from and the future journey ahead of me. Where I stand now is today’s story. I can see the big picture of a hope and a future. * I need to take the next steps.
My mom and I were talking about the importance of storytelling at dinner a couple of weeks ago. I said to her, “We’ve lost storytelling.” We discussed how storytelling taught principles from generation to generation. The storytellers used examples from families and village history to warn and teach.
The story came alive because we knew where it came from. We had a connection. Imagine the caveman and his son:
Cave Son: “Dad, why did you put red slashes on Ab’s face in the cave drawing?
Cave Dad: “Well son, Ab went into that cave.” He pointed to a cave across the river. “He poked the sleeping bear. The bear clawed him. Now he is scarred for life. Listen to me, don’t poke the bear.”
Cave Son looks at Ab’s scarred face across the campfire. He turns back to Cave Dad, “Okay I’ll let the sleeping bear lie.”
We all know not to disturb a hibernating bear. At least I hope we do. The lesson is passed down through the generations from Caveman Ab.
Stories whether they are from our family, friends, or the local caveman all help us grow up to make better choices. Unfortunately our media and entertainment are focused on jokes, gossip, and judgmental opinions. This is where many in our culture get their stories from. This type of information does not pass on the moral of the story. It divides and destroys. The stories that make a difference get lost.
This thought has the power to affect the way I think and write. The best storytellers will make the story interesting and leave you thinking. I learned a lot sitting and listening to my dad’s stories over the last several years. Did you know drones were being developed by the military during the Korean War? I didn’t. I thought drones were a new thing. I learned differently in the past few years because I took the time to listen to him.
Listen to your family stories. Pay attention to the books and articles that inspire you. You can avoid some of life’s pitfalls by learning from the stories. We all make mistakes. We all can learn from past mistakes of others, real or fictional. And we can share our own experiences to help others.
The bible is filled with stories about real people. Read it! It tells us of their mistakes and what to do to get close to God. The stories are gifts from God. It is why Jesus used parables, (stories) to teach. There is power in the connection the story creates. We can relate to it. This generation has the power to learn from history and really make a difference instead of repeating our ancestor’s mistakes. Let’s repeat their successes! If history repeats itself let’s repeat what works successfully. We will only learn that from reading the whole story.
For me I want more out of my writing. I still want to write fiction. I want it to be more than what it is now. This is why I am rewriting my book. I suspect you will see more stories and changes in my writing this year. Because I need to tell the story!
Change is afoot. I pray we will learn from the past and apply it to the future. God Bless,
*Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)