2 min read

Prompt: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

I have always been fascinated with the evolution of storytelling. It ties together some of my favorite topics and various disciplines, including history, writing, culture, literature and humanities. I admit, it can be a bit of a dry subject matter to hear about. When was the last time you attended a lecture on the history of the development of human language and writing systems? But it is endlessly incredible to me that we have so much knowledge on this subject, and that storytelling can tell us so much about our collective history. Storytelling is a subject I could happily go on about for hours without noticing the time passing.

There are simply so many sub-topics there for discussion and things to learn. Storytelling fascinates me because I think it truly is the one thing that connects each and every human: in the past, present and future. At its core, storytelling is just the sharing of experience. A way to say, I was here, I lived, I experienced things just as you have. It’s no surprise to me that humans have been diligently recording and passing down their stories since the dawn of time, preserving them in whatever way they can, from paintings on cave walls all the way to self-published ebooks.

When I want to learn more about this subject, and I always do, there’s no shortage of places to look. There are thousands of academic articles on the subject, detailing the history and evolution of writing, language, culture, human history, and storytelling. And those are all well and good. Growing up, one of my favorite sources was National Geographic. I loved to read, and so an article or two to expand my knowledge was always welcome. There is so much literature to choose from on this subject it’s awe-inspiring.

But perhaps my favorite way to expand my knowledge and understanding of storytelling is through other people. Listening to their personal stories is so humbling. I particularly enjoy reading projects like Humans of New York. Hearing these small, personal stories and seeing the connections between them reminds me that stories are really the fabric of humanity; billions of tiny threads woven together to create a masterpiece.

I truly think there is nothing quite like storytelling; it is a gift unto itself. It’s something so seemingly simple, that ripples across countless lives and times.

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