A few years ago I started reading fiction novels again. I say again because prior to that I hadn’t read much fiction since college. Somehow, upon graduating and entering “the real world,” I started reading only nonfiction—mostly work-related professional books. These books were very helpful and had interesting life application tips, but I rarely found myself rushing to clean up the dinner dishes so that I could read another chapter before bed.
It wasn’t until I started reading fiction again that I realized how much I missed the stories. I missed being drawn into the lives of the characters and feeling their emotions. I missed the suspenseful plotlines that kept me up, reading late into the night. I love the way these stories make you feel. I love that an author can cause us to love or despise characters that exist merely on paper.
Stories are a way for authors to share a piece of their world with others. Stories are not reserved only for fiction novels. Some of the best stories ever told are the stories of things that actually happened. These stories often draw from past experiences, lessons learned or missed opportunities.
I think as human beings we long for stories because they help us to better understand the world in which we live. We find these stories to be inspiring, encouraging us to dream bigger and better in hopes that we too may succeed like the characters in the stories. You can read study after study about a demographic of people, but sometimes it isn’t until you read a story from that demographic’s life perspective that you truly understand how it feels to be in their shoes.
But stories do not exist only in the written word. There are stories all around us. Composers create stories in their music. Artists tell stories in their art. Gardeners tell stories in the plants they grow.
We tell stories in all aspects of our life. Every day, in every interaction with each other, we have the opportunity to tell a piece of our story. We don’t always tell our story by coming right out and sharing it; sometimes we tell our stories by interacting with each other. When we are kind to a stranger, we are telling a story. When we are rude to the waitress, we are telling a story.
We each have a story to tell. We are all living out our narratives each day based on the choices we make. We can choose to share joy and love in the world with our stories or we can darken and deflate the world. We have a chance to leave a mark in this world by the stories we share.
What is your story?