Thursday, October 24, 2013

There's always a story

Have you ever watched "The Story Trek?" It's a reality series produced by BYU-TV, and unlike the lion's share of reality series currently on TV, it's actually worth watching. Former reporter Todd Hansen visits various small towns, randomly knocking on doors and asking the people who answer if they'd like to be on television. If they agree, he interviews them for the show, drawing them out by asking them questions about their lives. As it turns out, virtually everyone has a story -- some are better at telling it than others, but everyone Hansen meets has some sort of interesting tale to share.

There's always a story. The more I talk to people, the more I've realized how true this is. Whether it's a heart-to-heart with a friend, a late-night chat with a drugstore cashier or a casual discussion with a cab driver, there's always a story to be discovered. And most people are eager to tell their stories, if given half a chance.

The other thing that tends to be true? No matter whether the stories are funny, tragic, frightening or infuriating, there's always a beauty to them. Even stories about the brutal, ugly side of human nature can possess a kind of beauty when you realize that the storyteller actually made it out of hell alive, began to heal, learned to be strong.

Human beings are creatures of story. We are compelled to tell stories and to listen to them, and I believe that we order our life experiences and come to a better understanding of the world and how it works through the process of creating and telling stories to ourselves and each other.  Story is woven deeply into the fabric of human societies, visible in everything from entertainment to religious belief, and I don't think we ever really outgrow a need for it, whether it's a simple tale told around a primitive campfire or a multimedia technological feast for the senses.

At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

So what's yours?

1 comment:

Dan said...

After editing my mother-in-law's autobiography, I realize how true this is.