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The Art of Storytelling

The Art of Storytelling

by Kathy A. Wittman

Storytelling is a unique aspect of human nature. One of the most important reasons for people to tell a story is to record events in their lives that create a historical narrative for their families, as well as to leave a legacy for future generations. Since all people have unique perceptions about the natural world and unique reactions to their environments, they have an innate motivation to express their thoughts and feelings about their experiences. Some people choose to talk about their personal insights, while other people choose to write about them.

Another reason for telling or writing stories is to create an audience and receive attention from other people. Both storytellers and writers desire to either engage or entertain their audiences through their oral or written expressions, based on their personal insights about an array of subjects that interest them. Perhaps humans desire to tell or write stories because of their awareness of time. They are aware of the past, present, and future, unlike nonhuman animals that are focused on their survival in the present. Since people are aware of their brief existence in this world, they desire to “make their marks”, so to speak, through their own unique “words of wisdom”.

I believe that every person has a story to tell, based on their experiences in life. However, not everyone is motivated to share their stories with other people. Many of them are often too distracted with worldly concerns to focus on the significance of their lives. If they do take the time to evaluate their circumstances, they can benefit from understanding the meaning of their personal histories. If they decide to share their stories, then their lives are truly enriched.

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