Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Storytelling

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Tell me a story... I bet almost every parent has heard those words from their child.

While awaiting a flight with my 24-year-old son Zach, who was with me on my recent trip to India, I began to tell him stories of when I was 24 years old (and a youth pastor). One after another the stories flowed from my memory into his heart.

As I was storytelling, Zach continually remarked, "I didn't know that about you", and, "I've never heard that before".

I have been reflecting on that special moment during our trip, and I find myself wondering if I had spent enough time storytelling with my children. Do they know the parts of my life that have become my history, and therefore my story?

My reflections have crystallized into these thoughts:
  • Everyone has stories. You may not think the story of your life is compelling, but the uniqueness of your life compared to everybody else, makes your story a very interesting one.
  • Everyone can tell stories. The art of storytelling is about creating a word picture. Don't just give the facts: Tell about where those facts took place, what was going on around the facts, and who was affected by those facts.
  • Everyone needs to pass on their life to others (especially their family). Perhaps a great disservice is being perpetuated because storytelling is being replaced by reality TV and video games. Turn off the television, pop some popcorn and spend an evening telling stories. (You might consider a weekly family storytelling evening to help children value their and your stories, and develop their storytelling skills.)
  • Every story is worth telling. Don't sell yourself short: Even the smallest and seemingly insignificant detail that defines your life is worth a share. The cumulative life experiences that have become your story make for a compelling tale, especially to your children and grandchildren.
Share your life. Pass on your experience. Tell your story.

Question: What experiences have you had that will make a good story? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.

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