The Power of Story

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that I’m passionate about stories. That’s why I started my Story~Power podcast. I’ve tried to understand why that is. It might be part of my personality. I’m always doing self-examination and stories are one tool to help me get new perspectives. It seems to me from the above quote that I’m not the only one who is passionate about stories. Connecting with them is just part of human nature.

I had this profound aha moment years ago when I was studying theatre. As I was watching a play that was deeply emotional, I felt a shift in my awareness. At that moment, I understood the power of stories and about how we learn from them. Our emotions connect to our brains and then our perceptions change. When that happens, we can realize something new about ourselves and the world around us. Because of this realization, I’m always looking for stories that will touch my emotions so I can see things from a different point of view. 

For the last month or so Barry and I have been watching Marvel’s Agents of Shield on Netflix. We’re new to streaming and love it.

I know, some people think that superheroes are meaningless, frivolous entertainment. But here’s the thing. I’ve loved mythology since I was a young girl and superhero stories are just one form of our modern mythic stories. Scifi and fantasy are other genres of modern myths.

I’ve been trying to define why myths are so powerful. The first plays were mostly based on Greek myths. And I used to wonder what it was that made those plays so popular. I think I’ve come up with a partial answer. Myths are a much more dramatic way to examine human foibles, relationships, and our better natures. We get to step back and watch the dramas play out on the page or stage and then can go home and examine what we’ve learned.

But back to Agents of Shield. Barry and I got hooked on the latest superhero movies and TV shows because our nephew loves them. In order to connect with him and have meaningful discussions, we started watching them and found we loved them too. 

Agent Coulson is one of our favorite characters. So, when Agents of Shield debuted we considered watching it. However, we keep our TV watching down to a minimum and we already had other shows that filled our time so we passed on Agent Coulson and his team. 

When we got a Netflix subscription for Christmas, we decided to give AOS a try and I’m glad we did. Even though many of the characters have superpowers, the core group of agents become very close as the seasons go along. They call each other family. There are times when they argue just like any family but they also openly express their love for each other and I find that extraordinary. Other things I love about this show are, first, that even though they are fighting evil humans and other types of beings, they always try to appeal to their opponents better natures before taking drastic action. And, second, they are forced to develop their talents, both human and superhuman to save humanity. 

Even though I don’t have superpowers, I can relate to trying to hone my skills and talents. It’s not always easy. It takes discipline and diligence. But I can speak from experience, the effort is worth it. I know I’d still be wallowing in self-pity and hatred if I hadn’t decided to figure out who I am and why I’m here and then use the talents I was given to help others. That’s what Agents of Shield, and other mythic type stories do. The characters must dig deep within to find their purpose and then use their gifts to fulfill them.

I’d be interested to hear what types of stories speak to you. What is it you love about them?

Welcome to my new followers. Thank you all for reading, liking and commenting. 

Blessings and happy May!

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

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Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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