One way of thinking about human behavior is in evolutionary terms, the notion that even in this age, we do things because they somehow contribute to our survival.
Our forbearers needed to create things and tell stories in order to survive. They needed to build shelters and weapons, start fires, and make clothing suitable for different climates and changing seasons. They needed to sound warnings of threats and communicate opportunities such as ripening berries and migrating salmon. In the centuries before before moveable type, before literacy was commonplace, before we had anything like television or film, I can only imagine the importance of the sharing spoken stories. For many, sharing stories might well have been the only way they could experience the world beyond their personal, lived experience.
Today we live in a world filled with more than six billion people. At times its hard to imagine that we’re individuals and not just part of this huge, teeming herd. It’s our personal narratives that set us apart and make us truly unique.
Our forbearers needed to make things and tell stories in order to survive, and the same is true for us today. The stories we create, whether they’re fiction or memoir or DIY instructions on You Tube or even poetry, these are essential to our humanity. And there are more ways than ever to create stories and express our uniqueness.