The Power of Storytelling

So I listened to a program on NPR last Saturday, and I just want to share it. It proved to me that storytelling is still so powerful, and effective, it can influence anyone, anywhere, in anyway. Below are the three paraphrased stories:

1. Afghanistan Love Quest: An Afghan driver falls in love with his sister-in-law’s sister, but his job does not pay him enough to afford a marriage. Their love is so “giddy-pure” with secret kisses, quick glances at the dinner table and so on. The driver told his boss’ new fiance’ and her and the driver’s boss donated money to his cause. The driver presented the money to his lover’s father- and was denied. He was heart-broken. So what happened? His sister arranges a marriage for him, and he marries her before he even meets her. Some second option, right?

2. Kidney Quest- An older Jewish woman made it her goal to match kidney donors to people who needed them. Why? Not only did she care about this, but she was also unmarried. In her community she and other older, unmarried woman were looked down upon and so she needed a “niche” to feel like she belonged.

3. Toy Babies, Racism, and Love: An actress turned “nurse” at F.A.O. Schwartz worked in the toy baby section “nursery” at the toy store. During a popular time, all the white babies sold out, so she and the other nurses made a bet: what would sell first: this really, really, ugly white, red-head baby that they mess around with during their downtime, or all the minority babies. Lo and behold, this apparently racist mom and spoiled kid bought the ugly baby before any of the black babies were sold. Though the nurse was upset that their bet came true, she was reluctant to give the baby to these rotten souls. The nurse fell in love with the baby. What amazing stories! Stories like these reassure me that narrative marketing and other communications methods we talk about and explore can be successful.

Those three stories (which lasted about 40-45 minutes) made me so energized, I wanted more. Brilliant radio and storytellers are still out there people, and it is our job to learn from them and carry their methods over and apply them to the new methods of communications that we are pioneering.

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