The Power of Storytelling

Jul 06, 2011
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Before there were written languages and novels and grammatical errors, there were stories. Today, we even read some of those stories that were so dynamic and so universal that they stuck around long enough to be passed down by grandfather to a younger generation of learners and yearners—those who could read and write.

For me, I have always admired a good storyteller. Someone that can captivate through laughter and tears and reach into a stranger’s heart simply through the spoken word of their own, usually embellished, existence is a gift indeed.

Stories from the dark crevice of one’s own defining moment, stories shared from ear to ear and sculpted to fit the frame of both storyteller and audience. Stories of lessons that may not be able to be learned any other way and stories that capture the important histories in time.

Anything can become a story.

In a lot of ways, most cultures thrive on the stories that are shared and timeless nature, seeming to link together passionate pasts with fervent futures. This world is what it is and has been because of the quality and frequency of our stories.

Think back to a story that you were told as a child. Remember the awe and amazement that you felt as those words massaged your heart and soaked into your mind. Now, think about how many times you too have told that story and others like it in situations of great desire and encouragement, as well as great torment and grief.

Sometimes all we have are our stories. Recognizing this, I am more empowered than ever to get these stories down. I have made a deal and contract with myself to write down my own stories in any way that I can. I am not sure what will come of those stories—Will someone read them? Will I file them away never to be opened ever again and get lost inside a laptop motherboard? Will I publish them and share my lessons and inspirations with others? Will I get stuck halfway through and give up altogether?

Who knows.

No matter the outcome, I am greatly encouraged to try. Acknowledging the power and potential that storytelling has had and continues to have gives me the momentum to share my stories with those ears and eyes willing to absorb in all I have to say. However, my courage ceases when attempting to actually tell those stories within my heart, for it seems far easier to hide behind my laptop screen and feed those stories to an electronic device which has neither emotion nor facial features to display them.

So, hat’s off to the true storytellers. Those individuals brave enough to share a piece of themselves and their families and idiosyncrasies in front of a crowd are the real deal. Capturing your audience solely by your tone and charisma is a feat in and of itself. Just thinking about it makes me nervously and neurotically shift in my chair.

For now, I will continue to write down my stories and store them in my computer and leave the real storytelling to the masters. Perhaps one day I will be bold enough and confident to boot, and step from behind my laptop screen and really tell you how it all began.

Author: Ryan McLean