The Art of Storytelling


I am not religious, nor am I a believer.  However, I believe that children should at least be exposed to some sort of religious education, if only to sort out what they really do believe.  I was immersed in religion as a young person, but left of my own accord before I graduated.  I also believe that religion is vitally important to those who follow it, and I deeply respect their beliefs.

Many years ago, I took a small grandson to church because I love music, and in this particular church the congregation was encouraged to sing along with a folk group playing their guitars.  As I glanced down, I saw that he was standing silent though listening.  I whispered, “Sing”, and he replied in a louder whisper, “I don’t sing”.  I frowned and said “Of course you sing.  Everybody sings”.  He quite adamantly shook his head, and said “I don’t sing”.   After the service, when we were outside, I said “If you don’t sing”, why do you go to church”?  He said “because I like the stories.”

Stories, either written or oral, are the base of our civilization.  Stories are limitless, and connect people from all walks of life.  Cultures who had no written language had storytellers.  At a lecture by F. Scott Momaday, a Kiowa Indian, he stated that at some time in everyone’s life, he must know from where he came.  The Native American has no such problem, because he has been taught the legends of his people over and over his entire life.  He can recite his family tree for generations back, and can also remember and tell  stories about ancestors long dead.  Stories are painted and carved on rocks throughout the world.  Reminders to us that we are not unique, and that those who have gone before us left their legacies for us to interpret.

This wise little grandson taught a fine lesson that morning, and I’m glad I was there to hear it.

The Art of Wisdom


Should it be “The Art of Wisdom” or  perhaps “The Art of Knowing What to Overlook”?  My friend Cheri asked me this question over tea last week.

I heard an elderly woman speak to a college course my daughter was taking.   She asked the same question of the audience of 20- somethings.  Her answer may surprise you.  “I am just like you, only more so.”  Think about it.  If you are a cheerful optimistic person in your youth, you will become more so as you age.    If you were an annoying, whining hypochondriac, you will become more so.  Trust me in that.  Look at everyone  you have known for more than a few hours and you will see that it is true. 

When I told Dr. Advice what she had advised,  He said “You better begin now.”   

My vote goes to knowing what to overlook.