power of stories

Power of Stories

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With the theme of the week being storytelling, I decided to start at the very beginning. The history of stories. Like where did it come from? Why is it so powerful?

So this takes on a journey to thousand and thousands of years ago where people used to draw on the walls of caves. We call it cave art but I would like to think that they were leaving messages for the future generations like us. Guess we are having a hard time understanding it.

The oldest cave art was believed to be the spectacular lions and rhinos of Chauvet Cave, in southeastern France. It was thought to be around 30,000 to 32,000 years old. But recently in Sulawesi, Indonesia, archaeologists found art dating to 35,000 years ago.

The Chauvet Cave is in the mountains of Southern France and contains incredibly well-preserved cave drawings dating back to 30,000 years ago. On the walls of the cave, explorers found paintings depicting the prehistoric period. This was how they formed unspoken and unwritten language to communicate.

The cave drawings told stories about encountering mammoths, lions and rhinos. The paintings depicted their every day activities of using homemade weapons and using every piece of inch of an animal to survive.

power of stories
Chauvet cave. Credit: World History Organisation

Stories are a communal currency of humanity.”

Tahir Shah, in Arabian Nights

Cortex researched and found out that the Ancient Greeks lived on islands and fished for food. They discovered ways to use their tools to carve messages into tombs and slates. Their stories for thousands of years were communicated only through oral storytelling. The Greeks are also the first known civilization to develop writing and apply it to storytelling, which they used to leave messages and write poems. They used animals like pigeons to deliver urgent messages. Most of their communication was in times of sorrow, war, and celebration.

Greeks wrote epic poems which were referred to as such because they could fill a 500-page book by today’s standards. The Greeks were so passionate about the art of oral storytelling that these stories were written as poems to help the storytellers remember and perform the whole story.

Over the centuries, storytelling has evolved from oral storytelling to where we are now at with digital storytelling.

Why the hullabaloo over stories?

Indeed why the hullabaloo? Stories this, stories that but I can not claim to dislike stories. Infact I am the complete opposite. I am totally in love with stories. Everything about stories makes me happy. Give me facts and I just fall asleep. Give me stories and there you see me become alive. But that is the power of stories. They have the magic to sweep across on a carpet ride just like in Aladdin.

▲ Stories allows people to connect us. When you hear the story of another, suddenly you are put in their shoes and you begin to relate with them differently.

▲ Stories emotionalize information. They give color and depth to otherwise bland material and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way, as noted by Peter Guber

This is the power of stories so what are you going to do with all the stories you have heard about,especially the ones from your grandparents. How are you going to immortalize them so that generations from now, they will be reading it on the cave walls of today?

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About the author

Kajambo, Hello Everyone! Let me tell you a little bit about myself..... I am a multi-passionate Creative Storypreneur, Designer, Creative Consultant and Creativity Coach with a mission to inspire and empower creators- individuals and brands to embrace their stories to unlock their creative potential to design their authentic, purpose-driven brands. I am also the Founder and Creative Director of This is Me!, a digital platform that takes on the role of bringing my mission to life. I love color and all things creative! Well, This is me!

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