Since the beginning of humankind, we have gathered to share stories. It was a way to pass time by the fire, a way to teach each other the lessons of life, that fire burns, woolly mammoths are dangerous but provide food, shelter and clothing. Stories connect us, unite us with shared memories, in laughter, love and acceptance.
Sometimes stories scare us. They allow us to react in a controlled environment when the real monsters are too horrible to comprehend. We bleed off the fear and feel triumphant when we can defeat the monsters beneath the bed.
Stories inspire us with tales of love and devotion. They remind us there are good moments in the midst of bad. That love often shines a light in the darkness.
There are big stories that touch millions like the Parisian man reassuring his son that love and kindness are more important, even stronger, than the bad men. Tigers pouncing on pumpkins make us laugh and elephants painting landscapes with their trunks inspire us to fill the world with colour.
There are the smaller stories, the ones your don't share with anyone else. A gentle touch on the back of the hand, a first kiss perfect beyond expectation or description, a smile that fills your heart because you alone could tease it free. The quiet of the night broken by the sound of soft breathing. The sweet scent of a child's hair as they slumber in your arms. Those are stories of love, of trust, of possibility and all the more precious for being held close to our chests, shielded from the rest of the world.
We need those stories. In times of stress, whether global or personal, they distract us, comfort us, inspire us. Stories add colour, texture and depth to our lives in every way imaginable. We are richer both in the telling and the hearing.
Thank you for your stories.