As long as humanity has thrived, stories have been an essential part of our existence. Folklore, myths and legends have been passed down through generations. Whether they were told as performances of dance, singing or through written text, there was always something so exciting about seeing one unfold. They grip us, inspire us, give us hope, and make us see something in a whole new light. Most importantly, they make us reflect and think.
We tend to form associations for everything in our lives. Our brains have been wired to remember stories more than data and facts. We all know how Isaac Newton discovered gravity after an apple fell on his sleeping head, but not all of us would know the actual formulae.
Stories influence our emotions, and thus guide our decisions. One would argue that stories are the very thing that people live for. Folklore and legends were important ways to spread messages. Messages of caution, inspiration and hope. They helped create a unique identity for a group of people, helped build cultures. Now, there are entire industries that cash in on this human tendency to crave for good stories.
- Movies, photography and novels are quite literally storytelling industries that influence societies.
- Good journalism thrives on the ability of making riveting stories out of true events in our lives.
- Marketing is all about great storytelling.
- If a brand can tell a compelling story, people are drawn to it.
We are willing to put belief in anything that can give us the satisfaction of a good story. And in the midst of it all, we subconsciously make our own little stories
Of all the good stories that have been told, the most important and intriguing one is the one we are living. The story of humanity. Our history serves as the foundation on which we are building our saga. Stories from our history remind us of where we came from. How past mistakes led to fall of civilizations and/or disasters and tragedy, and why we shouldn’t repeat them. They inspire us to lead on, even in the face of adversity, like our ancestors did. Stories bring people together. They give us purpose.
As we read this, a new and important chapter is being written in the story of humanity. We are battling a global threat in the form of a pandemic, our leaders are faltering, our economy slumping and our universality as a species getting overshadowed by our differences. In this dire time, people are yet again in need of stories.
When morales are running low and victory is out of sight, we can fight through it, together, with stories —
Stories of inspiration and reassurance,
Of how we beat this problem before
Of compassion and solidarity
Of care and gentleness
Of mending our ways with grace
Of building futures of abundance
Of Karuna(Compassion) Stories.
Depending on our actions in these times, 2020 would be seen in the book of humanity as either a tragedy, or the start of a beautiful Cinderella story. Go ahead and share yours on www.karunastories.org
P.S. Karuna Stories is the debut endeavour of the Olive Ridley Collective- a spontaneous convergence of creative minds with the hope of architecting a positive ‘new normal’ as we swim along towards our shared futures.