Tell Me a Story



With all the things 2016 has brought and with all the sad tweets and posts and general down-ness of the world I have been thinking a lot about how to make things better. It would be very idealistic and naive to think that a single action could change everything but then again you need to start somewhere. 

So when the promo and the much anticipated release of the Gilmore Girls Revival came around and made the internet leap with joy it struck me: 

Stories. 


Since as long as we can remember stories have captivated, have offered sanctuary, proposed guidance and have been understanding. They have been refections, warnings, accounts of hopes and dreams. I believe that storytelling is one of the most useful tools humans have.


The other day I read a quote somewhere saying “No sentence is more powerful than ‘Me too’” which underlines that stories have such a huge effect on us. People who condescendingly say “come on, it’s just a story” when you have a strong reaction to a book, movie or even a tv spot have clearly never been told a good story. 

Now it’s that time of the year again when the big Christmas campaigns which are totally unrelated to products or even the idea of consumption flicker across our screens again. These stories that sometimes make us tear up and keep us from clicking the “Skip Ad” box feign goodwill and create a good image for cooperations - they work. Someone sat down and asked themselves how to create something that will push a button, flick a switch in us. It’s almost cruel how calculated it is. 

So how about we use stories to create change. Let’s create stories to inspire to world to become a better place, stories that will fight our battles. 

Hard-hitting issues like sexism, racism, discrimination, global warming etcetera will never cease to be an issue if we simply rely on governments and legislation to take care of them. If nobody believes in it, it won’t happen. And how do you make people believe? You show them a better way. 

Our world is oversaturated with numbers, data and empty words. Facts barely carry weight these days when trying to grab peoples’ attention. 
We hear about hundreds of people dying, thousand of square kilometres of forest being destroyed, a hundred thousand women being raped but we don’t care because these numbers we see everyday are empty, one dimensional without relation to ourselves. Our brains don’t have the time to put them into proportion, to make them real. 
So we need to take our values and meanings into stories that will make people say the magical words of “me too”. 

You might think there are many books, songs and movies out there dealing with real problems and that is true but one thing that really annoys me is when they are being made into strongly romanticised versions of reality. Instead of producing endless movies in which sick people (who are being played by able-bodied actors) go on fun road trips how about having protagonists who happen to be disabled. Or protagonists who just happen to be gay instead of creating dramatic coming-out stories. How about instead of tales where humans have to survive on the shadow of a planet they destroyed we create stories in which humans are pro active about the environment. 

To make a real impact with a story we need to incorporate the way in which we would like the world to change into the story. 

Make it part of a story, like you wish for it to be a part of life. 

What is your opinion on this? Do you think stories matter?

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