Words to stories

Words matter. As much as we may tell children that it’s only sticks or stones that have power, the truth is that words are loaded with it. It is why we love listening to stories so much. It is the reason that companies pay millions to advertisers to craft the perfect copy. It is why the words smother or strangle makes us shudder but the sound of ‘I love you’ makes us tingle. Yes, words matter.

Storytelling is recognised in every society across the world regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. They are a way of making sense of our cultural roots or identity, and an insight into the social reality we live in at this moment.

Life events, news, and stories that we share on social media enable us to share insights and enhance mutual understanding in a social, political, psychological and spiritual sense. We do not become any less by sharing; it can be therapeutic to give a voice to feelings that hurt us, make others consider something with fresh eyes or ears, and let another know they are not alone in their battles.

However, it can also leave us feeling vulnerable or even angry when someone question something we take for granted or never considered from another perspective, as can feel like a direct hit at something that is special to us.

This is because stories are part of the fabric of who we are, but only in sharing our life experiences do we develop a sense of self. After all, individuals are necessarily social. Stories cultivate the frequently forgotten yet uniquely human traits that are crucial in building solidarity.

For together we are stronger, and can drive out darkness, deafening those that spread fear and hate.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Advertisements

Words

From our youngest days we learn words, spoken and written. They have power and influence; they build, shatter or kill. Perhaps the most powerful weapon known to humanity; capable of driving one person insane, or changing another’s life for the better.

Do you want to know the worst part about words? It is so few us realise the power they hold. A humorous remark by one, can be an insult to another. Is it any wonder we call it spelling, as cast a spell upon those that hear them said aloud or given voice.

So what can we do? It sounds simple, listen. These days we often have our heads in our phones or think of something else rather than listen to what another is saying. We are also in a rush to get from A to B that we all to often fail to register and/or dissect.

How can we listen better? By being mindful and taking an interest in the life of someone other than ourselves. Put down the mobile phone and share in the tears or laughter. Thinking twice before we post it to Facebook, Twitter or e-mail, as can bite back.

© Fi S. J. Brown