The Power of Stories

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Return for a moment to your childhood. Good or bad, you more than likely have numerous stories associated with it. Maybe you recall your mother or father reading a particular favorite, or perhaps you find yourself laughing when thinking of an unconventional friend who just possibly led you into trouble. Whatever the case, those indelible stories flavor your life. In some ways, they even shaped the person you’ve become. 

As you mature, your stories gain complexity. You add to your collection: college days’ stories, romance-gone-sour stories, how-I-met-the-love-of-my-life story, bad interview stories, car trouble stories, the-best-day-of-my-life story and the list goes on.  (You get the picture.) The longer you live, the more stories you have to tell. And most of us, if we’re honest, love to regale others with our myriad tales.

Stories impact our lives daily. And not just our own stories. Think about the news.  How often have you been deeply touched or disturbed by a report about someone in another part of the country or the world? Before tuning in to Channel 6, you’d never heard of this person. Yet 9-11, Elizabeth Smart, the Unabomber, the women of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ken Jennings, the tsunami victims, the BTK (right here in our neck of the woods), and more recently, Hurricane Katrina have all become topics of discussion at the water cooler or on the telephone to friends. Each affects us in a different way. Maybe we hold tighter to our children or spouses, maybe we drop to our knees and thank a loving God we live in a free country, or maybe we write checks to victims’ funds. You see a story told with just the right twist has the ability to stimulate action.

TV stories span more than news. A few years back, a coffee company ran an advertisement featuring a man and woman who lived in the same apartment building.  Over several episodes, the attractive British lady and the handsome American borrowed a jar of instant coffee from each other. They hooked us by intimating a budding romance between the two. We watched anticipating the prospect of them getting together. In thirty seconds, they fashioned characters whose futures we cared about. When the Taster’s Choice commercial came on, we weren’t so likely to switch the channel. And years later some of us still remember … and smile.

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Unity Is Strength – English Short Stories For Kids – Bedtime Stories For Children

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