Everyone has a story. Our stories seek release. The compilation of a lifetime of truths, or the brilliant awakenings of youth, our stories are integral to our own awareness of self and essential for the growth of others. They are composed from the hard knocks of life and the moments of ecstasy. These stories shape us as we tell them or write them, chipping away at the unessential and leaving a masterful sculpting of who we are at our best and our worst.
We don't think much our stories, told at dinner tables, or more likely in the car at McDonalds. We glibly share the troubles, toils, and triumphs of the day, yet these words shape us and shape those around us. Leaving a story with an unfulfilled ending creates a tension in those who listen. Will it end well or not? Whether we realize it, our world view is captured in our telling of our story more than almost anything else we do. Do we see the world as a safe place, or one in which to be afraid? Most importantly, are there heroes and villains, reconciliation or revenge, peace or war? This is what our stories tell about us. This is what our stories teach our children.
The problem with our stories is that no one seems to care any more. If a story can't be condensed into 144 characters, it seems too long. Who listens? Do we even listen to ourselves? Letting others tell their story and also teaching them to listen helps us all unlock the secrets of life through the triumphs and tragedies, heroes and villains. The stories may not always have a happy ending, but they all speak the truth.