Stories are powerful. Think about it: how have the books you've read and the movies you've seen made an impression on you? Not to mention the news media? Do you tune in to thought-leaders and great-thinkers? It's all stories.
Here in Sparkle Land, we value stories for their entertainment value, but also (and more importantly) for their ability to teach and influence powerfully.
Stories can not only help children broaden their worldview and be more empathetic — they can also inspire children to be brave, to be kind, and even to see themselves in a new way.
Let me tell you a story from our own family that demonstrates this phenomenon.
When our youngest son was in second grade, he was struggling with reading. He felt ashamed and didn't want anyone to know he was struggling, including his teacher.
When he finally shared his worries with us, I decided to employ the power of story. I used the four-step intuitive storytelling process that I use for all the stories here at Sparkle. I told him a story — off the top of my head — about a tough-as-nails future sea captain named Jack Tar.
(You can hear the whole story of "Jack Tar's Brave Day" below!)
Jack’s parents wanted him to have an education. But Jack didn’t want to join the little schoolhouse because he couldn’t yet read, write, or do arithmetic. He thought he would look foolish. In the end, he did a brave thing: he raisted his hand and admitted to the teacher and the class that he needed help. And, of course, they warmly gave him the help he needed.
The next day, we got an email from our son's teacher saying that he had done the same: he had raised his hand in class and publicly admitted that he struggled with reading and needed help. This apparently prompted other classmates to admit to various things they struggled with, essentially creating a transformative moment for the entire class.
This is the power of story. It is at the center of our company’s mission to feed children nurturing content that gives them the tools to live full, authentic, and resilient lives.
We wanted to create a brief, impactful demonstration of this very message, and so we've made a short film! It's called "Slower & Kinder"
Here's the story I reference above. Enjoy!
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About the Author
David Sewell McCann
David Sewell McCann fell in love with spinning stories in first grade – the day a storyteller came to his class and captured his mind and imagination. He has been engaged in storytelling all of his adult life through painting, film-making, teaching and performing. Out of his experience as a Waldorf elementary class teacher and parent, he has developed a four step method of intuitive storytelling, which he now shares through workshops and through this website.