This week we asked five experts from around the world to share why stories matter.
Kiran Singh Sirah, Executive Director of the International Storytelling Center
“As president of International Storytelling Center, I hold a strong belief that to tell a story is more than a human right, it’s an act of love that can truly change the world.
Storytelling is the world’s oldest art form and the oldest form of communication. In every one of us there are thousands upon thousands of stories. We live our lives through story; we dream in stories. We don’t talk in facts; we talk in stories. That’s what connects us on a human level.
Memories are the foundation of creating beautiful relationships. It sows the seeds for a truly peaceful, multicultural society.”
Donna Washington, Author & CEO of DLW Storyteller Inc.
“Stories shape how we interact with everything around us. If you want to know what religion someone follows, what they think or feel about people, nature, the future or themselves…listen to their stories. Our stories color what we see, hear, and perceive. The stories that follow us impact how we react to situations. Our stories inform us about what is good or bad, right or wrong, decent or indecent.
The thing I love most about folklore is that it is the one type of story that can transcend all of our stories and bring us to a mutual understanding. The universality of human experiences from our triumphs to our foibles can be found in the folklore of the world. Sharing those stories and talking about them across generations, cultures, and religions can help move us closer together. It is only through sharing stories that we create community. It is hard to hate or fear people when their stories become your stories.”
Tim Lowry, Professional Storyteller
“Why do stories matter? It’s how we humans cope. It’s how we make sense of our crazy world. In my own family, when the storytelling starts I often sit slack-jawed as I hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then of a sudden I realize with horrible joy that these are MY people and there is nothing I can do but laugh!”
Hilarie Robison, Co-Founder of LegacyTale
“As women, we are the keepers of family stories, the makers of memories and traditions. We are the guardians of the hearth and of heritage. We keep the light of faith and family aflame across generations. And that is why storytelling matters.”
Paul Waldman, Founder & Director of LAMPP
“Stories matter because they are individual proof of life. Story is in the room upon our arrival and leaves with others, when we are returned to what we’ve borrowed. Story is present in every act, every moment and reflection of love. Story is that gift.”