Since the beginning of civilisation, humans have been telling stories. Long before the first piece of recorded writing, there were paintings on the walls of caves.
And that’s just what we have in terms of physical evidence. How many stories were told around community fires? What about things that aren’t storytelling on the surface?
For example, imagine the prehistoric man bringing back meat to a woman’s cave. That action tells her a story of his hunting prowess and by extension, how good a mate he would make, how fit their progeny would be.
While stories have power on an individual level — the story you “tell” can be a determining factor in whether you get that job, that girl or that gig — stories also have power on a much larger scale.
The Rosa Parks story was engineered to aid the civil rights movement in the US. Alexander the Great was said to be the child of Zeus. Hitler’s ideology started a world war. Religions are built around stories.
Stories in the modern age come in all shapes and forms. We all tell stories, whether we realise it or not.
And if we want to take control of our lives, we have to understand how we can tell better stories.