Personal Storytelling: Gaining Perspective into the Teller

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2011/11/24/Sharing-family-stories-benefits-young-old/UPI-64111322192826/

My first resource is of a father telling the story of one of his first tries at riding a skateboard. He grabs the attention of the whole family with his light humor and casual talk. They all gather round and the eyes of entire room are on him. He is telling a story and his kin is listening, children and adults animated by this simple story. All those present are not only enjoying a story from the old man, but are also gaining insight into this man they call “dad”, as a person. They are learning bits and pieces of who and what he is through his stories. Storytelling seems commonplace in that household and as my second resource suggests, they’re many benefits for the whole family when it comes to family storytelling. It tightens family bonds and individuals within families. Tellers gain a sense of self worth the telling of a story. From these stories of our loved ones, siblings, fathers, grandmothers; we are allowed access into a generation of the past. From their stories, we begin to understand those who tell them.

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2 Responses to Personal Storytelling: Gaining Perspective into the Teller

  1. Jake H. says:

    I think that this post connects well with Rachel’s post about Brene Brown. I heartily agree in how you can learn so much about someone by piecing together tiny bits of information from little events like that with the father and his family. It’s fantastic that they are willing to gather around and listen like that and it’s saddening that something like that is becoming so much less common. But I think situations like that between caring family members, the people closest and most known to you are great learning moments for gaining acceptance of vulnerability in interactions with people. Those are the people who love you most and will always love and support you, so who better to attempt to break through shameful feelings and try to express yourself honestly and fully with? In doing that, you definitely can learn about yourself by telling, the people around you can learn so much about you as well and it creates beautiful interactions and relations that feed and prosper off each other in a great way.

  2. In last week’s reading, “The Power of Personal Storytelling,” author Jack Maguire states several ways in which storytelling can benefit our lives, including how “it connects us more vitally with others” and “strengthens our humor.” I think these two statements are demonstrated in the “story telling for the family” video. The father is retelling the story of a simple incident when he got hurt trying to ride a skateboard, but it is so much more than that. The family is engaged and participating in the story, laughing at all the appropriate moments. The way in which the camera is angled allows for the viewer of the video to also feel as if they are a part of this intimate gathering. Watching the video, I felt as if I was a member of this family, and telling this personal story also made me feel welcomed into their home. Although any kind of story can bring people together, personal storytelling does it in a way that is more intimate, yet it is not exclusive to specific people. Everyone can relate to a personal story, and I felt as if this video helped the viewer to remember that.

    I also agree with the article you posted that family stories are essential to help children develop and grow. Children learn right and wrong and good and bad from their parents and elders, and storytelling is a great way to teach those things while having fun. Children love picture books and they can learn morals from those books, but it can be so much more meaningful to hear a similar story that is personal to their parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. The moral becomes more realistic because the mistakes were made in reality, not in the fiction world. The listener is not only gaining insight and perspective into the teller, but into themselves, as well.

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