Every week on Thursdays, I have a lunch meeting at my local Denny’s dinner with my local chapter of Optimist International that I am a member of and at last week’s meeting, I was suddenly reminded of what I really enjoy about those meetings and seeing and talking to my fellow members; the companionship and the telling of stories. At every meeting there is almost always at least one to three interesting stories told of past experiences or so forth from among the group. After listening to one such story being told this last Thursday, I was suddenly reminded of not only how much I enjoy listening to such, but how important and special such moments are.
We as humans are social animals and as such we need conversation and the connectedness that such brings. But besides the connectedness that conversation brings, there is also the opportunity to share and learn stories; stories of past experiences, shared believes and just plain stories of entertainment. Stories help us to connect to others and to share with one another our lives and all that is in them and has been in them.
Without stories, our lives would be much less fulfilling because we do not have that extra element of shared experiences, empathy, or relatedness that stories bring to the table. When it comes to forming and maintaining friendships and connections stories is paramount. Besides being the life of a conversation and helping to form and build relationships, telling stories is also very important for the mind. Telling stories is a good way to help further develop the brain and to keep it healthy and productive. Telling stories as well as listening to them being told is a very simulating process as it relates to mental activity.
We as humans are indeed social animals and as such we will seek out to meet with family, friends, and associates as much as possible to “chit-chat” and so forth. But I find from my own experiences and from those that I know that while conversation is important and does a very good job developing and maintaining relationships, conversation without storytelling is not the same as it is with storytelling. When you include the two you get more bonding, more interacting, and more involvement of all persons involved when there are more then two people in a conversational group. But even if the conversation is just between two people including a story or two only helps to liven it up.
Unfortunately, while conversations still happen in today’s world with people keeping in touch there is not a lot of story telling happening in those conversations, which is unfortunate. Story telling can be and should be a very important part of any conversation for its bonding potential as well as learning experience.