I am reading a book about storytelling. The title “How to Tell a Story” makes me laugh and is a little misleading in southern terms.
Just to be clear, when I grew up there was a big difference in storytelling and telling a story.
“Telling a story” would get you into big trouble. Especially when it was preceded with a warning like, “You better not be telling a story…”
Whether you realized it or not, you were being given the opportunity to tell the truth or suffer the consequences.
And I was always told you were in more trouble for lying. Now as a kid, this was very confusing and usually caused a confession on my part.
I thought about all of this because I worry that storytelling is a lost art. It takes time and eye contact and connection. We don’t seem to have much of that anymore.
Why do I worry about the beauty of storytelling?
Most importantly, it introduced me to my grandmother Maudie. She passed away in 1969, 3 years before I was born. Through storytelling on the porch I came to know her. I was always amazed to be near those who not only knew her, they shared her with me.
I would give absolutely anything to sit on the porch one more time. Most of my favorite storytellers have now left us and it doesn’t seem they will be replaced.
There were no gifs, no memes, no social media and no abbreviations-only a mental picture.
We now measure the value of a story by likes and shares.
It is not the same.
But now as I read this book and ponder my thoughts on improving my storytelling, I will encourage you to agree with me.
Even if you have to tell a story…