We build our lives on stories. They shape our minds, our past and our expectations of the world around us. Stories can bring together groups of people, tear them apart or turn them against others.
The Ancients knew the value of stories, they were told over and over to teach the people about their faith and their Gods. Stories provided the answers to the great questions of the world.
I think that preserving these stories and passing them on to new generations is important. If we want to understand the Ancients then we have to look at the way they thought, and we can find this information by looking at the stories that they told and were told.
The Celts, for example, committed almost nothing to paper. They thought that every part of their culture should be preserved through word of mouth. Druids spent twenty years training, this time was both to encourage experience and also to allow them to memorise all of the important stories about the Gods.
The power of story-telling carries on into our world today, we tell stories all of the time; even if we don’t realise that we’re doing it. We tell stories about our experiences, about people that we know. We tell stories about our own lives or about things we have heard in order to offer guidance to other people.
As well as this we’re encouraged to read, and to read stories to our children. I think that telling stories is an important social aspect of being human. It’s a way that we connect to each other and bond together as a group.
Whilst the Ancients told stories about the Gods and important Ancestors we read and tell stories about people that we know, or fictional people in predicaments that we could find ourselves in. We take guidance from the stories that we read, and the stories that we tell, in how to behave in our society.
Story-telling has changed from what it was, but it still remains a vital part of our behaviour as humans.