Narrating is identity
Describing who we are, come from our ability to identify ourselves. The word narrative has to do with the Latin word Gnarus, “conscious.” In fact, putting together a series of words with the logical sense we become aware of ourselves, being able to describe our past, all the basis of individual existence. All these thanks to our ability to memorize and learn from our experiences. The memory is common to all living beings, but unlike the animals in which the consciousness manifests through instinct, we humans can recall it, process it through language, allowing us to narrate, identifying ourselves. Thus, through narration and storytelling, we have created our cultures, our customs, our language.
Storytelling is an expression of freedom
We tell stories because we need to express ourselves. As living beings, we need to communicate our needs to survive, from the simple physical needs to the emotional ones. The history made of language is in turn made up of many symbols and signs. Consequently, storytelling is not only the act of putting a set of words and sentences to tell a story, that would also be reductive. The narration consists of visual signs, materials, ornaments of musical notes, a set of things coming from the need of every individual, as happens in the art.
We tell stories to evolve
Narrating a concept or a story has allowed men of the past to convey a range of useful information to subsequent generations, allowing us to evolve. When we speak of evolution, we often think to the animal kingdom where many species have evolved by developing sensory abilities and improved articulations to simplify their lives. Nowadays modern fiction has seen men as protagonists with superpowers taken directly from the animal kingdom. But have you ever wondered why we do not have wings or tails, or super eyesight as the eagles?
Well, our evolution closely links to the development of language, which in turn has become one of the factors that allowed us to evolve our brain. Therefore we used our intelligence by inventing tools that we needed in our lives. Our evolution has taken place since we started to develop a language and to create the extensions of our joints through technology which has streamlined some procedures of practical nature, simplifying our lives. The transmission and improvement of technology have taken place thanks to storytelling.
Storytelling as a symbolism of life for children
Telling fantastic stories to children is crucial for their mental development. Storytime is the best way to communicate with children because we use fantasy as a common language to them. Young children cannot accurately understand specific concepts without images and symbols. Rational discourse would be difficult to understand due to their young age, but the typical sequence of images of fairy tales is a great way to present them the world.
Through fairy tales children find themselves in a fantasy world where the characters correspond to people surrounding their real life and where the complicated feelings are assimilated and understood in their subconscious, learning life lessons and values useful for their future.
The world one day will belong to the children: if we teach them positive values, our past will be a pattern of great stories.
Storytelling to improve our future
Evolution has improved our lives. However, we haven’t fully exploited our ability to enhance the world. Our history is full of important events including some unpleasant ones that generated a complex society and characterized by not very reasonable mechanisms. Subsequently, all this is still reflected in our lives today. There is still time to change our stories. In this case, remembering and telling our story will allow us to analyze and understand what has been done in the past to understand our future better. Only by understanding our history, including our mistakes, we can improve our future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katrin Ann Orbeta – Mash&Co
“I was born in the Philippines but grew up in Italy. Living two cultures I saw the beauty and differences: people and especially children do not have the same rights and opportunities. I truly believe educating children is the best way to create the basis for a fair world. Hence Mash&Co, a digitally animated story that introduces children to positive values. My contribution to a better world starts with my love for drawing, animation, and technology.”