The Power of Story

An ode to narratives and what they do for as human beings.
  1. People seek a lot of things for comfort: food, physical touch, emotional support, solitude, exercise, music.
  2. But throughout my life, I have found myself turning to a similar comfort time and time again: stories.
  3. Just last night, I wrote a list about how stumbling across Sister Act 2 on TV totally turned my night around.
  4. It wasn't just the music in that movie, though I do love the songs. It's the narrative itself I respond to so strongly. Sister Mary Clarence fighting in her unique way for these kids that she sees for exactly who they are, and that she loves for exactly who they are.
    "If you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you gotta wake up and pay attention." As a teacher, this is a hell of a mantra.
  5. And this morning, I picked up A Wrinkle in Time for the first time in years. Before I knew it, I was halfway done.
  6. The power of that story. Meg, so awkward and smart and unsure of herself. Calvin O'Keefe, what a freaking dreamboat. And Mrs. Whatsit and Charles Wallace and tesseracts. All of it.
  7. It was like sliding into a perfectly warm bath with a glass of wine and chocolate, but in book form. It was the story I needed today - children being smart, overcoming Evil.
  8. How many times has a book come to my rescue?
  9. More than I can count.
  10. Hermione. Talia. Alanna. Minerva Dobbs. Cinder. Senneth Brassenthwaite. Just a few women whose stories reached into my heart and mind and changed me.
  11. And not just books, TV and movies.
  12. I want Leslie Knope's heart. CJ Cregg's badassness. Buffy's, too. Mia Thermopolis's hard-earned self-assurance. Maria Von Trapp's outlook (and husband, let's be honest.)
  13. Also, look at the ways stories have connected me to the people in my life.
  14. My mom and I share books weekly. It's a huge part of our relationship. My best friend looks to me for book recommendations every time we're together. I've deepened work friendships by bonding over books and superhero tv.
  15. So basically, my point is, stories matter. Stories and characters change us.
  16. I am a better human being because of the stories I've read and watched.
  17. We can change our world for the better by telling more people's stories.
    This is why diversity of all kinds matter in media and literature.
  18. Let's keep re-reading our old favorites, letting them change us anew.
  19. Let's keep enjoying new stories, and sharing them with our world.