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Stories Teach Us How to Be Human

There are stories that have a moral and leave us with a lesson. There are others that engage us because of what they tell. Stories teach us how to be human, in general. It’s a bit like the narrative of the hero’s journey, which captures the growth of the human being throughout his life.

What characteristics of stories strike readers so much that they remain in their memories?

Why Stories Teach Us How to Be Human?

It is difficult to forget a story that has given us an emotion. That emotion is stored inside our brains and returns when needed. When we find ourselves in the same situation or experience a particular moment that reminds us of a particular reading. It is a kind of handhold that helps readers to act similarly to the character whose adventures they have read about.

Stories prepare us for life, and enable us to discover dangers and opportunities. They allow us to safely explore worlds, and present us with fantasized or real worlds. They do it at a distance, while the emotions we experience during the story and even the sensations can be real. We can feel fear, anger, pain, joy, pleasure, trust, courage, love, and many other emotions. Then the story ends, but it lives on within us. It constitutes an experience that, even if fantasized, is part of us.

Psychology in narration

For this, we call psychology to the rescue. Psychologists, in fact, tell us that the need for stories is linked to specific biological entities: neurons. It seems that there are a hundred billion neurons in the adult brain. Each neuron possesses a thousand to ten thousand connections. So, the combination of brain activity is so stratospheric that it exceeds the number of elementary particles in the universe.

Then there is a particular species of neurons, discovered between the 1980s and 1990s, which are called mirror neurons. These neurons are activated when subjects perform an action and when they see another perform the same or another action. They are frequently used by children who, seeing us, learn by imitation and imitate our gestures and our behavior.
Imitating is a complex action, however, and requires the brain to adopt the person’s point of view in front of us.
And even if we never think about it, emulation is a fundamental activity for evolution.
That’s why stories teach us how to be human. Because they allow us to evolve, grow and learn with them.

Stories During the Centuries

In short, stories, first and foremost those of the great literary novels, but also simpler and more recent stories, really help us live. They make reality sustainable for us because they can be better observed and interpreted in their existential details.

In fact, in order to understand the society of an era, it is very useful for us to read its stories, novels, legends, fairy tales, or whatever.

Some Examples of Stories That Teach Us How to Be Human

A prime example of this narrative theory is ‘The Little Prince‘ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
This is a book that is also offered to children in kindergartens. But read at another time in life, it takes on a different meaning. It is a narrative that leaves readers with a different message depending on the moment in which they read the book.

A second example is the Harry Potter saga by J.K. Rowling. This fantasy tale, divided into seven volumes, has the characteristic of growing together with the reader. The first book has more childlike, disenchanted, joyful traits. As the reading progresses, the narrative becomes more and more complex, dealing with themes that go beyond simple magic, until it becomes almost dark, suitable for a more adult audience.
It is a tale, however, that teaches how to live and deal with various situations in one’s life.

“Story is not the passive experience we perceive it to be. Instead, it is as essential an activator of our internal development as any experience we have in real life. […] Stories teach us through symbolic experiences how to be human.”

Inside Story- Dara Marks

Create a Story That Teaches Something With bibisco

With bibisco and its novel writing software, you can write a story while keeping track of any element. You can start with the plot, make notes on important items to be included in the narrative, focus on the style of the dialogue, and create character sheets for each character.
Any detail relating to the narrative will not be left to chance, but you will have everything under control.

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Conclusions

Stories tell us how to succeed in realizing a dream, a goal, an experience. They are like promises of change. Every tale has within it the seed of change.
You can discover something about yourself from the stories that attract you.
Once you are more aware of the stories that attract you, you can explore what and how many types of stories there are, and then discover how to use the stories to grow and change.

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