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Why Stories Work

A good story is like a magnet. You get stuck to it and you can’t break free.

You find yourself in another country, you fall in love with the people and you become a part of their story. Through good stories, we are able to connect with others, experience their fears, their sadness, their hard times and their joy. Great stories are universal and help us to understand that we are all on a level playing field regardless of race or ethnic background.

For me personally, non-fiction stories are the ones I find most compelling. Whether they are about reaching the peak of the world’s highest mountain or the effects of global warming, learning about real life events from around the world keeps me engaged.

I recently came across a story about a little girl living in Honduras. She has a condition that disfigures her face causing problems with breathing and even hinders her ability to eat properly. She and her family are shunned by the community and they essentially live like hermits. Since it is a third world country and they have little money, the surgery that is required to change this little girl’s life seems far out of the family’s reach.

This story left me with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and guilt. Guilt because we live with so much and take many things in our everyday life for granted. Sad because I became that little girl, hearing everyone’s whispers and wishing that someday I could live a normal life. As a mother myself, I felt empathy towards the girl and her family, wondering what it must be like to live that life day in and day out. That is the power of a good story. We're left with these personal feelings that we cannot stop thinking about long after we have read the words or watched the video.

I think the human race tend to be more passionate about real life stories. These stories make us feel many emotions and they often inspire us to take action and help in any we can. We use stories to make sense of the world. They teach us love and how to forgive others and ourselves.

This is our purpose at Mission. Our stories move people to sit up and take action.


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