Origins of Storytelling

One of the characteristics separating humanity from the animals is our ability to tell stories.  Even though we have language, we could have used it simply to convey messages (“Grab it!” “Run!” “Hubba-hubba!”).  But somewhere in our evolutionary framework we started getting creative.

It possibly began when the tribe would gather in the evening and update each other on the day’s activities.  What began as information sharing (“Don’t put a branch from that kind of tree on the fire.  And don’t ask when my eyebrows will grow back.”) probably started getting embellished (“And the one that got away was this big!”).

What began as truth being embellished became fiction imbued with truth.  Stories that entertain us while making us pause to ponder are tapping into their primordial beginnings.  The messages they convey might be simple, but reach deeper into our psyche and linger for a while (“Grab it – if you let the opportunity slip away, you’ll kick yourself later!”).

Lucky you, it’s a short post this round because it’s been one of those weeks … and don’t ask when my eyebrows will grow back….

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