The Power of Storytelling

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

To state the obvious, there's a lot going on in the world these days. The events of the last few weeks and months has given rise to debates around many important - but divisive - topics. I believe that some of the most powerful and productive discussions around these issues are rooted in storytelling, in compelling accounts of personal experience. The most effective and thought-provoking of these stories often don't have to draw a conclusion for the audience because the moral of the story is usually glaringly apparent. I've found that it's much harder to discount a well-told personal experience than a diatribe without a meaningful frame of reference.

A month ago, we heard first-hand accounts from exhausted doctors and nurses on the front lines of COVID wards, influencing many of us to more seriously consider the severity of the situation. This week, we have been confronted with personal stories and examples of racial discrimination and bias, highlighting a persistent disparity in our country. For me, many of those stories have been especially thought-provoking and eye-opening, and they have lead to a lot of personal reflection and some tough conversations with the people closest to me.

From a far less serious standpoint, I also write and share photos on my other website, CO•MTN•LIVING. Out of all the content on my site, I've had - by far - the most positive response to my real-life stories. They're honest, usually a little humorous, and most of all, I hope they're relatable.

Technology has enabled the telling of all of our stories in a whole new way, making it possible for anyone to share their experiences and allowing personal stories to reach a broad audience by going "viral."

But technology, websites, and social media ring empty without storytelling. In times like these, we are looking for substance. We are seeking out businesses and people who are thoughtfully approaching challenges and constructively bringing about positive change, in some large or small way. We are looking for authenticity, trustworthiness, and transparency.

I can design a beautiful website for you, but your story - that's entirely up to you.