November 16, 2017
“Therehave been great societies that did not use the wheel, but therehave been no societies that did not tell stories.” —Ursula K.LeGuin
For thousands of years, history, important lessons, commonly held beliefs, explanations of mystery and things beyond us, have all been passed down from one generation to another via one very important means: stories. Whether it was the tales told around campfires, or the annual renditions of events which had transformed peoples and places, stories are one of the oldest and most effective ways of communicating our values, our feelings, and our memories. Truth be told, no one can resist a good story!
That’s why I have made it a practice over the years to tell stories to my children. Sometimes we do it around the dinner table; sometimes before bed. Sometimes stories are told during our long “road trips”. Sometimes we tell them with pictures; sometimes a book or a movie serves as a catalyst to make critical lessons or things of interest to become personal. Some of these stories are about things that happened to me. Some of them are of things which took place in ancient times…things which should never be forgotten. Some serve to inspire; some to warn. Some have a moral; some just make you laugh. Information and facts may touch a mind; but stories touch the heart.
C.S. Lewis is one of the greatest theologians of the past one hundred years. And although he wrote great books which explain the path to belief or answer the questions of doubt, he is most famous for the stories he wrote which present these same arguments in timeless allegories which tickle the conscious and echo in the memories of young and old alike.
In the same way, your kids might not remember much of your moralizing. But they will not likely soon forget lessons you have told them that you are able to capture in story form. If this has not been a part of your parenting arsenal, consider ways to open up stories to your children. You may just find that you will have found a key to their hearts.