You might have heard of the saying about how we humans are born storytellers. It doesn’t matter where we are and who we are with, we’re always spinning some kind of tale. Some of them live on in history and become legendary folktales, while others are just told to pass the time or break the ice.
No matter what, the truth is there. From the dawn of time, humans are storytellers. We record and we re-tell. Myths and fairytales stem from the fact that we love to tell stories, I think. More damningly, the fact that many cultures around the world have traditional folktales, which only further drives the point home.
Narrative imagining—story—is the fundamental instrument of thought. Rational capacities depend upon it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, or predicting, of planning, and of explaining.Mark Turner, cognitive scientist, linguist, and author
Throughout every single generation, tons of stories have been passed around. Whether it be from word of mouth, tradition, or a book from the shelves, we thrive on stories. Every day, I believe, we tell each other stories. It could be a recount of something that happened earlier, maybe mere hours or months ago, but we tell it to one another.
Sometimes people tell me that they want to be a good writer like me, but I’m always confused by that statement. “What do you mean, exactly?” I’d ask. And they’d reply, “Well, you know, you’re such a great storyteller. I’d be lucky to write stories half as interesting as yours.”
And I find that quite silly because it is under my impression that every single one of us is a storyteller. It doesn’t matter who we are, we like to tell stories. It’s part of being human. It’s built into us.
We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.Jimmy Neil Smith, Director of the International Storytelling Center
If they were referring to the way I write, then that’s an easy fix. It’s just craft. Anyone can hone their skills with enough practice and determination. It doesn’t take that much time at all, if you do a little bit every day. I had—and still have—a goal to reach, so until I reach that goal or come as close to it as I can, then I won’t stop practicing every day.
A lecturer told me that it is incredibly easy for a person to imitate someone, too, so if you’re really unhappy with your ability to tell a story, you can always find a role model to base yourself off of.
Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.Robert McKee, professor
My favorite thing about storytelling is how there is one subject that almost every single person on this planet likes to read about.
I read on the Internet somewhere, probably Tumblr, that all stories are love stories. It’s either an overflowing cup or a lack thereof. After thinking back on all the media I’ve consumed, I can’t help but agree. There is no shortage of a romance storyline or a subplot in every single story, or an endearing moment or conversation between two friends. Heated moments at climaxes of plots, tender acts that people do for one another, and heartbreaking times when people have to walk away.
It’s all there.
In Ancient Greek philosophy, there are six types of love: agápe, éros, philía, philautia, storgē, and xenia. While there are more words and subcategories of love, I think these six are enough to paint the full picture. We love things, there’s no doubt about it, and the stories we tell come from these types of love.
That’s why all stories are love stories. Even if it’s a recount of a fun thing you did with your friend, or an upset rant about how your parents did something you didn’t like, it all stems from love. Because if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t bother with telling it to begin with. (Though, I can see how this contradicts the “lack thereof” statement, as I believe the lack of love is not hate, but rather indifference.)
Love is sprinkled in every story that we tell and read. We want a perfect love-relationship like Jim and Pam from The Office, or Jake and Amy from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Eleanor and Chidi from The Good Place. We want a fun friend-relationship like Jake and Charles from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Jim and Dwight from The Office. We want a good parental-relationship like Jake and Raymond Holt from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Jake and Terry Jeffords from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Jake and any male authority figure from Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
It’s all just love. Even if you don’t think it is, the amount of care you put into crafting the story into reality or the fact that you care enough to even want to tell it is love.
Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.Robin Moore, author