Why storytelling is our most potent tool!

Why storytelling is our most potent tool!
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

"To hell with facts! We need stories!" ― Ken Kesey

As long as humanity has lived, stories have passed from one generation to the next. Stories have been the central focus in paintings by great artists, in beautiful songs by singers, themes for dance performances. Lately, storytelling has made it as a unique learning tool in the classroom as well!

Stories are powerful. They can teach us to be moral or immoral. They can help us cut through a situation analytically. They make us cry for someone else we didn't know. They make us happy for someone we only wished we had met.

Every culture in the world has a storytelling tradition and wealth of its own. Stories can instill pride and a sense of identity in the citizens of every country. They can also help us break down barriers by helping us connect with people of other cultures.

Brands sell by telling stories. Movies become superhits because they resonate with the story of the viewers. Parents seek to understand their kids through the stories they hear from them. And, of course, which kid doesn't want to know how his grandfather spent his summers? Great orators make their speeches stand out because of the stories their tell. Storytelling has lately made it to the boardroom as an effective leadership technique.

In essence, stories make us who we are and guide us into who we can be!
Here are a few storytelling methods that are still very popular:

India's Harikatha

Harikatha is an oral storytelling tradition that is passed down generations. The stories are interspersed with music and mostly carry stories from mythology. There is a primary storyteller and two other storytellers to support him. These forms of storytelling are the reason for several social upheavals as social messages can be carried with ease through such media.

China's Shuoshu

This story telling tradition which primarily thrives on oral transmission. This oral was the primary medium for culture and knowledge to be transferred to the current generation.

Japan's Rakugo

Japan's original oral storytelling tradition involves one lone storyteller who mimics two or more characters just by the change pitch, tone and the angle of the head. The only props used are the Japanese paper fan and a small cloth. The current generation of Japanese, however, is more accustomed to stories perpetrated through methods like Anime and Manga.

Scientists affirm that the fastest learning happens when strong emotions are linked to memories.
It is no wonder, then, that the magic of storytelling has made its way into the traditional classrooms. Several radical educators are experimenting with teaching even science concepts through storytelling.

And the results are fantastic.

The bottom line: If you care about a message that needs to cut across boundaries and barriers, tell it through a story!

About the author:

Devishobha Chandramouli is the founder and editor of Kidskintha- a platform dedicated to helping millennial parents raise happy kids. Get your own FREE copy of the eBook "137 Proven Productivity Hacks For The Millennial Parent" now.

Support HuffPost

Popular in the Community