How do stories help us reflect and grow as individuals?

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There are a number of ways that stories help us to reflect on our lives and the world around us. As well as to help us to grow as individuals. One of the biggest ways that stories do these things for us is by offering a new, insightful perspective. This new perspective helps us to reflect inward on previous thoughts and actions, guiding us toward new, more thoughtful, and wisdom driven ways of being.

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

  Shannon Alder

Stories are one of the most important cultural puzzle pieces that we collect as humans. This is because stories are transcendent through the generations of people that come and go through the years. The stories that are passed down from one generation to the next, over from one country to the next, are what keep humans connected to one another. Stories connect cultures through time and space.

Reflecting on one’s own past experiences and mistakes can only get you so far with learning and growing as a person. When you are presented with the new knowledge and experience of another thought through their stories, you are now armed with the knowledge and perspective of an experience that you may not have otherwise had experienced for yourself.
Stories can also show you what you have in common with others. Giving you a bridge to cross so that you may connect better with others who you may not have imagined you would connect with before. With an open mind, connections can be drawn from stories of experiences, life struggles, travels, and even family belief systems. New perspectives of belief systems and moral values can also be absorbed and learned from when connecting through stories. Making human connections is one of the more significant milestones of personal growth that many people struggle with throughout their lives. Taking the time to listen to, read, and just wholly take in the story can really assist in reaching that milestone.

As humans, we live within our own narrative

As humans, we live within our own narrative or story through the eyes of our mind. When hearing someone else’s stories, our mind can’t always differentiate our own story from one that someone else has experienced and shared with us. Their experience and wisdom gained can essentially meld in with your own personal narrative. We are essentially constructed of our own personality as well as the traits and wisdom we take in from the stories that we hear and add to our own knowledge bank. Imagine your mind as an infinite library of stories that you have collected throughout your life time and used to help you build yourself up from the inside.

“I mean, most people want to escape. Get out of their heads. Out of their lives. Stories are the easiest way to do that.”

  ― Victoria Schwab, This Savage Song