We are the storytelling species.
We think in story form, speak in story form, and bring meaning to our lives through story. Stories inform, inspire, teach, and guide us.
Reclaiming story is part of our birthright. Telling our own stories enables us to be heard, recognized, and acknowledged by others. We are eager to find our own voices by which we can be known to others. It is only through telling our own stories that our truth can be told, and that the meaning of our life can be identified.
Everyone has important stories to tell! Starting with the need to make sense of our lives before it is too late, and following in the footsteps of the Navajo Storytellers, StoryCommons is bringing the age-old tradition of storytelling into the digital age by assisting individuals, families, and communities to remember, record, and preserve the stories of their lives. This also helps keep us in touch with family and friends, while learning more about each other as our common storytelling DNA emerges through the common motifs and life experiences we all express in our stories and share as members of the human family. This is where our collective wisdom is stored, and it is open to all to explore and benefit from.
Here is a story about stories, to provide a context for why stories matter, from when stories were the center of community life…
There was a time when people spent the best times of their lives telling each other stories. It was a time when the land, sea, and sky sang love songs back and forth, a time when men and women lived in harmony with each other. It was when everybody gathered around fires at night to listen to the elders tell how everything came into being, how the seasons followed one another, and how the dawn chased away darkness. Stories gave everything a reason for being and told of the sacredness of all life. But one winter, a cold, harsh wind blew across the land, snuffing out the evening fires and taking everything with it, including the delicate web of stories that bound the people together. Then, in the spring, people began writing down their stories. Pretty soon their stories were printed, and other people read them. Then radio came along, and soon after that television, and people began listening to and watching other people’s stories. This inspired more and more people to tell their own stories to each other. And the strangest thing happened, they began to remember some of the old stories after they discovered that their own stories mirrored the stories originally told about the natural cycles around them. They started feeling better again, they found their direction again, and they felt linked together again. And best of all, everyone remembered that stories lead from and back to the sacredness of life.
Storytelling is in our blood. It is part of our nature. And today, especially, storytelling is about the best way to get to the heart of who we are and what matters most to us. We need all of our stories now to help re-make the world in the image of our origin, to re-claim our deepest nature, and to co-create the wholeness, interconnectedness, and unity we envision. Sharing our deeply-felt stories is how we get to know what our connections are, what our values are, what we stand for, and what our dreams are. There may be nothing more important than to remember that each of our stories are pieces of our collective history as a human family; everyone has an important contribution to make in telling our collective story. Stories matter because:
We are the storytelling species
Telling our stories is a spiritual endeavor
Our stories can change the world