Let’s say a story
If I say, what health supplements are to your body, good stories are to your soul; then some might consider it a biased statement of an author. Albeit it would only be an ignorant mind that would fail to appreciate the multifaceted world of words.
Inspiring incidents from lives of great leaders, gems of wisdom from mythology, fables from animal kingdom and alien lands; they all carry the power to change one’s heart and open one’s mind.
In ancient times when technology hadn’t gifted humans with TV and cellular phones, storytelling was a much prevalent activity. People used to gather every day and share stories of saints, excerpts from religious books, folklores etc. Not to forget that it were stories of atrocities, rebellion and bravery, which travelled from one region to other and played a crucial role in inspiring people all over the country and setting ablaze the fire of independence during British rule.
However, with changing times and priorities, storytelling got confined much to the duties of grandparents and primary school teachers. Which in the recent years, due to rise in nuclear families got further narrowed to just primary school teachers.
All this might not seem worth worrying unless we take a thoughtful look at the world around – negative, bitter, depressed, heartless and devoid of human values. Majorly because the seeds of goodness and culture which used to pass from one generation to other through these stories gradually stopped.
Stories are much effective and easier way of learning important life lessons, not just for kids but for elders as well.
We need to realize that we, humans can’t live without stories. Even today we feed our minds with stories, but of different kind. People binge watch web series and TV soaps – mostly high in violence and low in morals, unceasingly follow murders and scandals through news broadcast, wake up watching internet videos, and many more such things. None of it is bad as long as we make a wise selection and chose what enhances us, in the amount that enhances us. But considering the choices around such selection often comes like searching for a needle in a haystack. So, why not spare some time and try adopting the tried and tested way of our elders of adding elixir to our life by reading, listening and sharing good stories from the old treasure trunks. Be it Mullah Nasreddin, Jataka tales or stories from Ramayana, you can pick anything blindfolded and you won’t regret it.
To speak less and prove more here is a famous parable. Simple yet deep –
Once there were six blind men who crossed an elephant on their path. None of them were aware of elephant’s shape and form. They were curious to know what the animal, about whom the entire town was talking about, looked like. Hence, they decided to inspect and know the elephant by touching it.
All of them went ahead and touched the body part of the huge animal which was closest to them. The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, ‘this animal is like a thick snake’. For another one whose hand reached its ear, elephant seemed like a fan. As for the third person, whose hand was upon its leg said, ‘the elephant is like a pillar, like a tree-trunk’. The fourth blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, the elephant is like a wall. Another one who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last one felt its tusk and declared that the animal is hard, sharp and smooth, like a spear.
The six blind men quarreled entire day. Each adamant about his opinion, none ready to agree with others. It was when a wise sage came their way and told them what the elephant was like, did they realize their mistake. ‘Neither of you is wrong yet neither is entirely correct’, said the sage, ‘the elephant is all of these. However, your knowledge of the animal is merely limited to your experience of the part you came across.’
The story holds a lesson for everyone. As people hold on to their versions of partial truth considering it the sole and total truth.