The Story Revolution (This I Believe Essay)

Every story has a beginning. Today, stories are commonly about pain, grief, and hardship. However, not all stories are gloomy; many are awe-inspiring such as the story of young Malala Yousafzai. Malala is a young girl who stood up to the Taliban in defense of education for girls. She now has an autobiography and is part of 2013’s TIME 100. Any way stories are spun, they have impact. Stories influence the way we think, act and perceive life. Stories bring people together and allow strangers to share common passions.

Every story is unique: they show different qualities. But most of all, stories show what it’s like to be human. They show how emotions such as greed and selfishness can consume humanity. They can show us how it feels to have no hope in a world of oppression and violence.  Stories illustrate what it really means to be human and how most people have forgotten.

Unlike many of my peers, I read. I read novels, companion books, novellas, textbooks. And I don’t only read these books, I visualize them: a little movie plays as I read. Reading is an intense psychological process that requires readers to go deep into the text: to empathize and feel the plot and the characters’ struggles. I love how the characters are able to worm their way into my heart. Stories make readers feel intense emotions: pain, happiness, love, and even grief. There are so many options; however, there is not enough time to read every single story. Stories are always going to be created, maybe not always published, but written on spare notebooks or just told orally. The beauty of stories is that they’ll always be around.

I believe that reading is the key to understanding. It takes you to places and worlds you’ve never been and it shows you alternate realities you may have never thought of. Most importantly, readers must be creative. The reader must be creative when imaging the story, and immersing themselves in the plot. Reading transports you out of reality for a brief time and allows you to breathe and just relax. People go through life so fast now, they never do stop and realize everything they have. People take basic needs like water and heat for granted. We live in such excess that we don’t realize that not everyone has these things. Stories show us how things are different by opening our eyes to other cultures and ways of life.

Stories have a life of their own and they communicate their meaning to those who understand. At least, that’s how I see it. Reading and telling stories isn’t just about telling the story for a laugh, it’s for a deeper understanding and bringing people together. In the world, where we are constantly typing away behind computer screens, like I am now, people are losing that connection. I believe we need to find the connection and reestablish it: stories are the key.

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