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Stories are for children

Extract: Stories work at multiple levels for adults and for the child within. A brief extract taken from this article:

Scientists are beginning to catch up with what societies and parents have intuitively always known, for example that “stories have such a powerful and universal appeal that the neurological roots of both telling tales and enjoying them are probably tied to crucial parts of our social cognition”, Oatley and Mar finding that “students who had had more exposure to fiction tended to perform better on social ability and empathy tests”, and a psychologist asserting that “Stories that cut to the heart of the teller's experience reveal the pulsing world of human emotion, and join me to the storyteller in the shared ordeal of being human”. Stories are universal. They help to develop social intelligence, promote insight, mindfulness and imagination – all hardnosed business requirements.

A childlike attitude may be needed. Jung named the deep, eternal spirit of youth that we all need and have within our psyches ‘puer aeternus’. Is optimism, adventure, fun, imagining and creating, purity of soul, puer foreign to business?

Many stories work at multiple levels. The same story can serve a child and at another level engage an adult reader. Books such as Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne come to mind as do books such as the Tao of Pooh. Author Benjamin Hoff brilliantly demonstrates how the children’s story relates to the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism. Clarissa Pinkola Estes Woman Who Run With Wolves is another example.

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