A Reaction to “Why We Tell Stories”

This video helped me give perspective to all stories ever told whether they are happy, sad, or even infuriating. Essentially, the entire point of the video is to tell a listener what it felt like as the person who experienced a certain event which to be honest is extremely difficult to do. All of us tend to think about themselves which is natural. We don’t have time to care about the needs or experiences of others who we barely know of when we ourselves are dealing with our own problems.

After watching this, I remembered a word from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which is “sonder”. It is the realization that every single person who lives, will live, or ever lived on earth has a life as crazy, complicated, and weird as yours but they experience it in an entirely different way. You may appear in their “story” as someone in the background, as an extra in their lives, or just a passing face that they will never remember. This feeling is extremely rare, if it even ever comes to you in the first place. The only reason I was able to experience this feeling is because I learned about this word through a video from a Youtube channel called “Vsauce”.

The reason why I mentioned “sonder” is because many people will never be able to fully relate to what a story teller is really feeling. In a certain way, we’re experiencing what the story teller felt but in a different way. It made me realize that story telling is not just to inform another person about what happened. It’s to make them emotionally understand what happened so that we can spread that experience to others too. Similar to why we like to watch and share movies to other people. It’s not just for the story, but also to make the person you shared the movie with to experience something similar to what you experienced.


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