History is philosophy taught by example.
How many things have you done and lessons learnt that you could share with others. The challenge is in helping them understand the lesson without them having the same experiences. A wiser way for them to learn is from others rather than make the same mistakes in life as you. But how do you get these lessons across?
You have stories to tell
Stories can be told in two ways. Either from a technical or emotional point of view, very much in the way as shown in the old ’60’s television series Star Trek. Would you choose to approach a Life Story like Captain Kirk or maybe Mr Spock. Will you look at everything from an emotional point of view or will you look at things using the cold calculating methods of science and engineering.
Both systems are valid and depending on the topics, times in life and your personality, you may vary your approach from just explaining the facts to expressing the feelings and emotions that you have. Maybe it’ll be an ebb and flow of different styles even within a topic, depending on the points that need to be shared.
Most often it’s important to work with both of these methods. Sometimes there are experiences in life that bring with them emotions that can impact in negative ways if they are rehashed again. In these cases having a cold calculating attitude of “that’s just the way life sometimes is” can enable you to work through the issues and move onto getting the facts out so that others can understand the situation.
Then there are the times when talking of situations without any emotion misses the very essence and importance of those experiences, when all they needed was to include the creative aspects of emotion and description.
Sharing the lessons of life
There are many times in life where we all make mistakes and wish we had known better but that’s the way we’re told life is. We have to learn from our mistakes! But what if we can be told that the stove is hot rather than having to touch it.
Now that you’ve had some experiences in your life and learnt from others, you have the opportunity to share the lessons that you know. The trick is to explain and hopefully enable others to learn from your experiences. But how do you explain in a way they can grasp enough to learn from.
Lessons through the ages
Throughout the ages, myths and legions share the knowledge of how things are and how to live life. Some of these stories are designed to cause you to conform to the social norms, while others are to help you learn lessons from the past. Some are based on real stories, some are fabrications but all are designed to grab your attention and create an emotional response. It’s this emotion that causes you to take notice and hopefully learn from what is being shared.
Remember the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. A story filled with graphic descriptions of a rat plauge, followed by an opportunity to rid the village of the rats by the Pied Piper. If you remember the town folks eventually refuse to pay the piper, so he steals the children away never to be seen again.
That story if told to young children with all the graphic horror of the middle ages would cause an emotional response that would teach them a lesson to pay their dues or else there may be terrible ramifications. Sure, in this day and age it seems cruel to tell stories of stealing children but the power of emotive storytelling, in getting a lesson to be understood is still practiced with all great films, plays and television today. The emotional triggers used today teach you to learn the lessons of everything from drink driving to what toilet cleaner to use. So why not use the same story telling emotional power in sharing the lessons of your Life Story.
Storytelling is an art form in it’s own right with technique that can make any story better. You may or may not have this skill but what you do have is the ability to speak from the heart.
Speaking with emotion
When telling of an experience in your life remember take the time to relocate back to that time. Do all that you can to relive the experience and share all those subtle events and emotions that you remember. Do everything you can to relive it so that those listening will be drawn into your memories and travel with you as you recap on the experience that you’re sharing with them. If you take the time to recreate everything that there was for you and you share enough of what it meant to you, allowing the emotions of the time to come through, the listener will share the experience with you.
If you allow your emotions to show through the story, any lessons will be apparent for listener to understand and what that experience meant to you.
As an example, consider hearing from one of your parents, how they met and their reaction to falling in love. The story can be told as a cold dry list of events that lead to the outcome of their time together or it could be carefully told explaining all the subtle nuances of what they were feeling and their reactions to each other at various events.
Why, Why, Why…
The simple question of Why? is one of the most powerful single words to use in this situation. It often can take a staid story down an emotive path to continue to open up and express more of yourself for others. If you really want to find the emotion in a story, ask the question or variation of it. “How did you feel when…?”
By answering the “why?” question we share more of ourselves and open the door for others to really understand what was going on in emotive ways.
Like the little children hearing the story of The Pied Piper we grasp the real meaning behind the story, hopefully learn the lessons that you learnt and what also, it means to you.
- What are the lessons that you’ve learnt?
- Why do you want to share these lessons with others?
- Think of the times and answer some of the What, When, Who, Why and How questions
- Use emotional descriptions to make the points that are the most important
- Reflect on how these lessons would have made your life easier if you had have known
What are the biggest lessons you’d want to share? Tell us in the comments below.
Interesting Links from this Post
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“Rose Room” (mp3)
from “Jeremy Cohen: Violin Jazz”
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