The Innate Power of Storytelling

The world is in pain. Natural disasters. Wars. Cost of living crises. The queer community denied more and more rights. Covid still wreaking havoc. It seems endless, even increasing.

Thankfully we have stories.

Whether it is TV, film, books, podcasts or games you dive into, they are all stories we turn to in times of stress and struggles. Whether you do it to escape reality or to deal with it, to heal or to be inspired, stories get us through.

Stories are vital to human survival. Without them we wouldn’t be here. We’d have been eaten by that tiger, because we hadn’t been warned by a fellow tribe member that hungry tigers actually munch on humans.

But alongside literal survival, stories have another function. One that is vital to me: storytelling creates understanding and empathy between human beings.

When we read a story that reminds us of ourselves we feel seen and heard. We feel connected.

When we read a story that is outside of our own lived experience it creates an understanding of a different reality than our own. We feel compassion and become more empathetic.

Connection and empathy: to me those are the key ingredients to humanity.

On an individual level connection and empathy create happiness and a sense of safety.

On a global level connection and empathy create a society based on understanding and peace.

Boy do we need the individual and global connection now more than ever.

And so we need stories. We need stories to feel ourselves connected to others and to the world. We need stories to understand other people, other cultures, other countries. We need stories to be human.

Stories possess an innate power. They can be, but don’t have to be world revealing. But they are always human, and that is enough.

Storytelling is powerful. So write your story. We need it now more than ever.

Sandra Postma

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