As a storyteller, I regularly find myself in schools and libraries telling age appropriate yarns. These can be traditional tales, myths and legends, family stories or anecdotes. Some stories are known, some are new, and some become requested favourites.
When choosing the stories to share, I usually make a large pot of tea and happily work through my many notebooks and story collections until the right tale strikes a harmonious chord. Recently, when looking for a Remembrance Day story, I came across this story in Steve Killick and Taffy Thomas’ book, “Telling Tales: Storytelling as Emotional Literacy”.
The Two Warriors
Two warriors faced each other, bloodied and bruised from their battle. Exhausted, they slumped to the ground, deciding to renew their fight the following day. Lying side by side as the light faded, they started to talk to each other. One produced a picture of his son back home, who would one day become a soldier like his father. The other told of his daughter back home who would one day be a nurse, to care for wounded soldiers like them. The two enemies continued this way until the sun began to rise. Struggling to their feet, they sheathed their swords, embraced each other, and parted in opposite directions, for truly it is impossible for two people to hate each other when they know each other’s story.
For me, it sums up the power inherent in stories. All that is needed is a teller, a listener, and a tale. The teller and the listener bring something of their own life experience to the moment. Together they’re both making the same journey. A warm relationship grows between the two through that storytelling moment. Connections are made.
As adults, we are often time-poor, but a few minutes of storytelling can transform the way we relate to others. Try:
- Telling your children about your lunchtime, what you ate, where you sat, whom you were with, etc.
- Tell someone about a random act of kindness you’ve experienced, and watch a warm smile spread on your listener’s face.
- Share a moment of success, or a challenge, face-to-face with someone, rather than on social media, and experience the power of live storytelling.
- Recount a memory from your childhood, and feel bonds strengthen.
Then be there to listen. Be part of the teller, tale, and listener triad. Experience the power of making connections, the power of storytelling.