all storytellers. From earliest recollections, most of us
can remember being read to from storybooks as young children.
Some of these tales were funny, some sad, some were meant
to impart a life lesson, others just for fun. But every one
contributed to our worldview...and helped to develop our critical
thinking process, either accurately or not so. What we believe(d)
shapes our behavior and our thinking; it did then and continues
on our entire lives. Which is why it is so valuable to continue
this practice into adulthood. Unfortunately, many don't give
enough thought to how much impact they have on those around
them (and vice versa) via sharing their stories. So they stop
talking; about what matters, that is.
living in a high-tech society, it is so easy to become automatons.
Self-dependent, self-sufficient, self-protective; to the nth
degree we have mastered the art of solo status...in ways that
are the most costly. Sure, we live in families, we may share
an office, attend neighborhood gatherings, yet simultaneously
we remain apart. Author Frederick Buechner writes that one
of the dangers of giving in to this "separateness-strategy"
is that we come to believe our fictional and "highly
edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will
find it more acceptable than the real thing." Only as
people venture forth with prudent self-story telling for the
purpose enriching someone else's life will others offer similar
exchanges, and says Buechner, these purposeful acts, "have
a lot to do with what being human is all about."
routinely sit opposite desperately hurting individuals who
are simply in need of a listening, empathetic ear. Sadly,
our society has placed such premium on projecting the image
and illusion of perfection, that genuine self-disclosure is
becoming a rare commodity indeed. For want of an ordinary
"good word"...some are forced to make an appointment
with a professional just to get a hearing. Not that counselors
aren't needed, they are, but as lay individuals we must consider
how much we have to offer one another by merely living lives
to Tell a Story
- For Laughs. Make my day by making me smile. Universally,
laughing is good medicine for both body and soul. Determine
to adopt the "be what's missing" in this situation
motto. Look for ways to exchange anger for kindness; rudeness
for courtesy; irritability for patience. If lighthearted
encouraging words escape you, simply offer your smile.
Learning. Pass on personal insight to others. Not everyone
wants to grow through the school of hard knocks, so be willing
to share your particular blend of knowledge+experience=maturity
Good Mental Health. Every human experience is a common one.
Though specifics may be unique, underlying emotions that
drive individuals are not. Be willing to offer transparency
when appropriate, a consistent voice of encouragement, and
admissions of "having walked that road before."
is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly, FaithfulReader.com,
Aspiring Retail and has published over 900 articles/reviews.
She works as a manuscript critique editor for the Christian
Communicator and writes on women's health issues for the Toledo
Free Press, Monroe Journal, CBN.com, SingleMom.com, ParentSuperSite.com,
CatholicMom.com, and Radiant among other publications. Howe
has also published eight books for women including: Going
It Alone: Meeting the Challenges of Being a Single Mom,
for Homeschool Moms,
for New and Expecting Moms,
of Comfort and Strength,
to Nourish a Woman's Heart,
Prayers for Single Mothers.