Why Storytelling?

I have the future opportunity to talk with some people and was I wondering what topic I should talk about. It had to be meaningful, not those generic and sometimes artificial motivational talks. You know those ‘you can do it talks’! After thinking for a while and asking some friends, I decided to talk about story telling and what we can learn from it. Let me tell you my story:

I got a C in history my freshman year at my college. It sucked, but unbeknownst to me, that C lead me on a story (a journey) that I could never imagine would have happened.
Without that C, I wouldn’t have met my friends in sociology who inspire me to succeed every single day. That C gave me the chance to pursue sociology, gave me the chance to get to know an administrator on a personal level, get me to know the wonderful sociology and anthropology professors that helped me grow. Without that C, I wouldn’t have wanted to pursue graduate school, wanted to become a professor, and wouldn’t have dreamed to become a dean. And most of all, the administrator would not have been writing my graduate school recommendation letter. My point is, at that moment, failure hurts and failure stings. In the end, it was a blessing in disguise. Why did I just share this story?

My take away for these people is hopefully that 1) failure is not a means to give up, rather the beginning pages of a great story and 2) stories can help inspire others who face the same predicament.

In sum, we are all human and our lives are made of stories. A narrative that not only defines who we are, but that we share with fellow human beings. I believe that storytelling is extremely important and that everybody has a story to tell. Perhaps, that one story connects with someone that is going through the exact same thing. What if your story made a person feel that they are okay? Everything will be okay in the end. What if through stories we realize we are more alike than different?

So, tell yours.




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