Why Stories Are Important

I woke up this morning wondering why stories are so important, why I would rather read or write than do most anything else in the world, and why they often become a part of my very insides.

 

If you were to walk into my tiny apartment you would no longer find a dining room, but in its place a makeshift library…an entire wall full of books. Of all the things in my apartment, aside from my laptop and a couple of family heirlooms, this wall of books would be the thing I would grieve over most in the event of a fire or natural disaster.  Each book on those shelves has become a part of me in one way or another, from the battered copies of Charlotte’s Web and The Chronicles of Narnia to the paperback spy novels I read just because I know my dad loved them to my recent tear stained copy of The Fault in Our Stars . These books, in a strange way, tell my own story.

The stories on my shelves have weathered many a rough season. They’ve gone to battle with me more times than I care to count and have been both my comfort and my courage. And I know I am not alone in this.

Stories are important because they are, in fact, Magic. The Magic lies in a story’s power to transform, to open eyes, to show that slaying the dragon is possible.

Stories help heal us. They teach us we are not alone in the world. They show us our struggles have been someone else’s in another time and in another place. They give us courage and show us that even when the enemy has the upper hand, there is always a way to defeat him.  And they show us that when we are defeated, there is a reservoir of strength deep within to help us rise again.

Stories are important, because at the end of the day, in the middle of harsh realities and the monotonous daily grind of life, they give us Hope. And hope is some of the most powerful magic of all. With hope, we can endure. With hope, we learn to survive. And with hope, we thrive.