Love is the ability to tell a story…
Every night me and my son share a bedtime ritual of a bedtime story. There are a bunch of stories that I recite interchangeably. Sometimes it is the monkey, sometimes crocodile and other times it is the hippo or giraffe. Many characters take life in our exchange. My son too provides the most creative inputs in these stories.
But yesterday was different. Yesterday we had daddy join in our story recitation. At first I thought it would be a normal story with a little bit of adventure, but that was far from the truth. Daddy told the most personal and hilarious story my son ever heard.
What was so special about his story:
The central character of his story was my son and not any other animal. This small detail changed everything. My son was interested right from the beginning. That’s when I realised, it is so important to speak the language of the listener. All my stories had really fancy characters but this story had my son as the hero and that was the game changer.
Another thing about dad’s story was that it had no rules. My story followed a set pattern and had predictable moments, but his story did not follow ant rules. All the characters joined in and left the story as per their convenience (this according to me was not logical, but my son was pretty amused with this)
There were a lot of everyday activities in the story and not too much drama. Like the hippo in my story jumped and danced, but in dad’s story the hippo squeezed out the toothpaste for my son to brush his teeth. This again was something that was so simple yet captivating.
What is important in story telling or any other communication is to understanding the listener and then communicate. This changes everything.
But apart from that stories in general are such an incredible idea! When I think about stories, I feel every child has a potential to infinite imagination and creativity which we adults lack in a way. More than anything else their hungry minds need such fodder of unrestricted stories.
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman
In today’s times we need more such stories, so that we can laugh without a reason and can really engage ourselves without the necessity to spend money.
Love indeed is the ability to tell a story because when you love a person you look at ways to engage that person in so many different ways. Through a story you do share a part of your personality. Because you give away a part of your personality the way you recite the story(thats why in our case mommy’s and daddy’s stories are so different).
A very interesting part of story telling is that sometimes we make our stories out of conclusions and not the reality necessarily. This can be a good thing or bad. Good because it stretches our imagination and can be aspirational or inspiration but sometimes bad because we could believe it as truth and go on without questioning it.
“Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.” – Michael Shermer
But in any case one was or the other, however we tell stories they are a beautiful part of humankind. We should cherish this art and share as much of it as we can especially with our young ones, so that it can be carried on to the next generation.