HistoryJournal.org

Storytelling

Posted in Storytelling by Alex L. on March 8, 2009

I have been thinking a lot lately about stories and storytelling. Stories, loosely defined, are the way we understand everything about ourselves and the world, form morals to how an engine works, from theoretical physics to the origin of life. From this perspective, every act of communication is an instance of storytelling. Scientists are storytellers; historians are storytellers; marketers are storytellers; professors lecturing are storytellers; movie directors are storytellers.

But not all stories are equal in our eyes. We are choosy with what stories we take seriously and which ones we dismiss. A Christian fundamentalist may disregard the story of evolution, while the secular scientist will find little use in his life for reading the stories of the Bible. Why is that? How do we decide which stories we are going to hear and believe?

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