The Good and Bad of Stories

I’ve been observing a lot lately the different meaning people have for the word story.
For some, they immediately default to childhood and think of storybooks and fantasy; kids fiction.
Others immediately think of adult orientated fiction; tall tales that are not true.
Yet again, others hear stories as being lies, false realities.
And still others believe stories are engineered narratives that people have hidden motives for telling.
It’s all a bit of a shame really because it gives the art and science of great stories a bit of a bad rap. On one level they can be dismissed as frivolous, on another they can be considered malevolent.
However, over time, stories have been humanity’s richest form of communication. What stays the distance with anyone in life other than a story that has been a learning experience that has added immense value to an individual or community.
I am now starting to clearly distinguish stories for myself and others that have a purpose and powerful intention, rather than a throw away piece of gossip. If we pause to think, and trust our intuition, we do know the difference.
More than ever before in human history, we have an endless supply of stories via multiple media. Our challenge is to be discerning, to sift the wheat from the chaff. Now that is a capacity that is both a challenge and a necessity to develop.
Many say our younger generations are media savvy and also ‘spot a fake’ in an instance. This well may be so, but we have to build a capacity to act on our intuition, to learn to trust stories and narratives that have been created with a clear and honest intention, versus those developed to achieve a manipulated result to benefit one or two.