Stories A Beautiful Learning Path For Hearts And Minds

A fantatisc world and path coming out from a book

Stories are a beautiful learning path for our hearts and minds. For thousands of years, we are learning about life and the world around us through stories. From simple fables, tales, and ancient myths to elaborated narratives, a good story is always the most natural way of depicting and conveying a message to the world. Most of us grow up listening to fairytales and then reading all kinds of books. Precious stories of the world contain the wisdom and history of humanity.

But, as simple as it may seem, even a short story is a powerful way to share our values and ideas. Through stories, authors can be heard and listened to. The readers can see the world from different perspectives and expand their knowledge by authentically empathizing with characters, ideas, and values suggested by the authors.

Each of us is inspired and influenced by stories in a unique way depending on life experiences. Visualizing the plot of stories and characters’ life experiences creates the premises to understand their resorts and ideas transmitted through stories. The authors are sharing part of themselves and integrating their life experiences into their characters.

A good story is a challenge to our status quo

Occasionally, a good story can generate small insights or even revelations about our own biases or prejudices. There is a myriad of stories to choose from. Stories have challenging themes like justice, discrimination, poverty, social inequities, struggle to survive in and hostile environment. Good-written stories are changing our minds and hearts by sharing experiences and making us see the world with different eyes and shades.

However, stories can be also an escape from reality because we escape our daily routines by reading. We join in fantastic worlds or safe environments away from the harsh reality, or we get our inspiration from all sorts of stories. For each of us, learning comes with our emotional and social backgrounds. A good story can trigger a change of mind and challenge the status quo we are living in.

Why stories are a powerful tool for teaching and learning

Stories come in all shapes and sizes and are a universal way of teaching and learning. They have served humanity from its beginnings as a path to reconnect us with higher values and ideals. Inspirational stories have a way of recharging our strengths and generating positive initiatives or encouraging us to attain our dreams.

A beautiful story is an easy way of engaging people in learning experiences. Studies showed that preschool kids learn more new words from reading the same stories repeatedly. So, the secret is to repeat their favourite story to make them learn new words. Teachers and educators are using stories to engage us with the concepts and ideas they aim to share and teach us.

Through them, we are expanding our learning and understanding of the world we are living in. How we relate with characters is a way of learning and drawing conclusions about what we are reading. Most of us have been captivated by stories since childhood and surely every one of us has a favourite story or book.

The Incredible Power of Stories: Inspiration

Listening to or reading ancient myths and fairy tales is like taking small journeys to understand ourselves. Inspirational stories depict heroic deeds and overcoming difficult life obstacles. This type of story is a form of sharing ancient wisdom and practical life advice. These meaningful stories can have a real impact on us and determine us to pursue our dreams as we face obstacles in life.

In myths and fairy tales, we have fantastic and strong-willed characters and no limits to our imagination. We all enjoy a good story because it awakes our curiosity and reminds us of innocent times when the impossible was possible. Stories make us stay curious and young at heart and help us make sense of this troublesome world.

Brand stories and facts and figures

Recently stories became tools for brand marketing purposes. A study of several brand stories argues that consumers are attracted to stories structured around hero archetypes and not by the products. We see that companies and organizations create stories around their products and services. These stories are in video and audio format and are constructed around heroes and values. Their product invites consumers to align the hero’s moral values reflected by heroic character traits, to strengthen and develop brand-consumer relations.

However, there are stories for everyone, even for data scientists because data can tell stories too. Organizations and companies are using facts and figures can tell their stories. Data are converted into presentations for understanding, retaining facts and figures, or connecting people across different locations with the same interests. Putting data in a simple format through stories makes facts and figures easier to remember that otherwise, we would never remember. We can easily remember the facts or ideas if we create a context and involve emotions that resonate with us.

Bridges to connect people across different cultures

Stories are powerful tools that can connect people from miles away due to common values and cultural heritage. No matter the age and location, we all experience life and our circumstances differently. But, the truth is that we also share a lot of similarities and personal values and ideals we want to achieve. These similarities are present in every country’s tales are actually and a permanent reminder of the invisible ties between us.

Most of the stories are a great tool to learn about empathy. Empathy is essential to understand the emotions and intentions of the characters. A study about people’s sensitivity to emotional perspective-taking in Aesop’s fable “The Fox and the Lion” shows that people shared emotional responses empathizing with the victim rather than the offender.

Also, the study shows that participants with higher empathy scores had stronger negative emotions from the victim’s perspective. This proves that they adopted the characters’ emotional perspective, even if it involved negative emotions. When reading stories we are identifying ourselves with the heroes. Genuine stories with strong characters raise an empathic response. Learning is also an affective process and while reading and engaging with the narrative we experiment with both negative and positive emotions.

Therapeutic storytelling can heal minds and hearts

We all are aware that stories can facilitate insights into the dilemmas we face daily. But, there is one type of story that has healing powers. These types of tales have been converted into a form of therapy with the incredible power to heal our minds and hearts. A study suggests that narrative therapy especially storytelling is helpful for older adults too. It may not be appropriate for everyone but, it is an easy and at the same time insightful tool worth trying.

Also, a research article explains the benefits of therapeutic stories. They are easier to remember and provide an efficient communication rapport. Also, they diagnose problems so that patients can understand, free of stigmatizing, and help illuminate paths to change.

Stories have a soft way of healing our souls and can shed some light on our inner worlds. Healing messages conveyed are meant to solve our problems even with fantastic resolutions. They offer time to draw our conclusions and don’t force on us a certain course of action. Stories are like self-discovery journeys to our hidden inner strengths. Somewhere along the way, the storyteller leaves clues for us to unravel the hidden treasure inside us.