This week, the world celebrated the birthday of a former Greek slave and traveling storyteller who lived more than 2500 years ago. Pretty amazing, right?
In a world that tends to devalue the art of storytelling and the simple act of reading, we are still celebrating the birthday of one of our ancients for the simple reason that he was able to capture important life lessons within simple stories that we could remember.
Sound familiar yet?
As humans, story is at the heart of everything we do, know, and believe about ourselves. From our smallest infants through the preschool classes and up into kindergarten and the after school program and beyond, the children at Premier Academy are surrounded by story every day.
So are you.
Believe it or not, story is still the most effective way to learn something new. It is also the way we remember something old. Even more, it is how we define ourselves and determine what is possible in our lives.
All day long, from morning breakfast to bedtime, we are telling ourselves and each other stories – how the day is planned, what we are learning, what we are doing, what we know about ourselves, and what we believe can happen in our lives, or what can’t happen.
Believe it or not, story can be powerful enough to determine your direction in life, or keep you from it.
The good news is, all you have to do to change things is change the story you’re following.
There is actually a fable about this, though, like all fables, the meaning is hidden underneath the simple story. In the one I’m thinking of, there is a fox who wants to eat some grapes to quench his thirst, but they are too high for him to reach.
After several tries, the fox decides they are too high and they are likely sour anyway, so he leaves. He has told himself two stories – first, that the grapes are too high so there’s no way to reach them, and second, that the grapes are probably sour anyway, so he wouldn’t want them.
It’s natural to disdain what we think we can’t have. But there is another way you could approach that story.
While the grapes might actually be too high for him to reach on his own, the fox could have told himself the grapes would be nice to share with a friend – and that friend might have an idea or two about how to reach them. No matter how the grapes tasted, it would have been sweet to enjoy them with friendly company.
See how simply changing your approach to your stories can open up entirely new possibilities as to what can be accomplished? Maybe there was a rock or a bucket the fox could have used to help him reach higher.
When you stick to your story no matter what, you eliminate the possibilities that are waiting in the wings.
So, if you’d like to find a few stories to help you or your little one chart a new course or remember an important cultural moral, here’s a handy online collection of Aesop’s Fables you can choose from with the moral of the story clearly identified for you.