Stories to Keep the Mind Engaged

Because the human brain is what it is, we need stories.

I think the first stories started as oral history – life lessons and wisdom passed down through generations. The history of our people is important. In theory, it helps prevent us making the same mistakes over again. Stories can impart morals by example – the Boy Who Cried Wolf being one of my favorite examples. Also, it seems easier to remember facts if they are presented as a tale rather than facts. People retain the enjoyable and interesting, not the dry and boring.

Stories are also of value because they help people relate their experiences to one another. As humans, we all need validation. If we tell a story, and someone else has a similar story, we are affirmed and feel right. We can also share our stories so that our memories live on. Someday, I’d like the next generation – maybe my own children – to know what happened to me in my life, so in a way I am immortalized.

But probably the biggest reason the world needs stories is for entertainment. If I’m honest with myself, I don’t write for the sake of history, or education, or really even to impart morals or wisdom. I write for fun. I read for fun. I spend hours watching and re-watching television shows and movies because I enjoy it.

Stories helps me live vicariously through these other people. I may never get to visit other cities, countries, or planets, but through stories, I can see the world. The universe, even. I can escape from my sometimes mundane life and pretend I’m somewhere else for a little while.

The human mind is capable of so much, and it takes a lot to keep it entertained. Stories – regardless of whether they are told in writing, orally, television, movies, or other media – keep our minds engaged and allow us that little bit of escapism to make our often boring lives livable.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

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