Friday, July 27, 2007

The need to talk

"Human beings are a collection of stories."(135) Schank goes on to tell us that we accumulate many stories over our life time. When we have the opportunity we pick a story and tell it. Our opportunity seems to be now. It has been interesting and enjoyable to hear all your stories and to listen to them evolve. Schank says that the "the stories we tell are affected by whom we are telling them to."(135) Everyone's input and comments to the stories helps each of our stories to grow.

"How can I know what I think until I hear myself talk"(114)The example Schank gives with the man talking to no one all day is something I have thought about often with our technological world we live in now. I had visited my daughter in Rapid City, SD one spring. At that time new to me, was the self checkout counters at Walmart, and it made me think about how easy it has become to live in a "big" city and talk to no one. The fact that you could have all those people around you and speak to no one because you drive to work by yourself, work in a cubicle on a computer by yourself, buy your supplies from a store with a self-checkout counter, fill your car with gas using your credit card, drive home by yourself and maybe live by yourself. It almost horrifies me!!! I think that is because so often in the history of our state, you can read the stories of the loneliness of the early settlers. How they went for months, sometimes a year without visiting with another woman, or seeing another person. It played a big part in the difficulty of settling the area. That need for human contact and conversation is so important. Yet there are so many people who do not have that important verbal contact, that chance to share stories. Sometimes by choice, other times not. It is like when Sandy talked about not going to bed without laughing. We need laughter, but it's hard to keep laughing by yourself. Schank said everyone tells stories to themselves but also questions how much of the story will be remembered if we don't tell anyone. So keep talking and telling stories....and visiting with store clerks!!!....or young mothers, or older homebound people, or people new to your community, or....

1 comment:

Barnabus said...

Your post makes me think about the many long-time social organizations that are dwindling in membership today, i.e. the Masons, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars. There are probably others that fall into the same category. They are great places to gather and tell stories. Basically, I see a cultural shift in progress that is similar to that described in 'The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire'.

I had many friends to tell stories to on a daily basis while full-time employed, but it dramatically dwindled upon retirement. I have other venues in which to meet, but I am now thinking about those who do not.

I totally agree with your assessment. As tellers it may be a mission quest that should be considered.