As we approach the holidays, we should consider the stories our leaders, our teachers, our friends have told us and why they do matter, they matter probably almost as much as the stories our parents have told us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred.
Our brains evolve to expect stories with a particular structure, with protagonists and villains, a hill to be climbed or a battle to be fought. Some scientists estimate that humans existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy, and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of human beings would learn how to read and write.
Stories were the primary way our ancestors transmitted their knowledge and values. Today we seek movies, novels and news stories that put the events of the day in a form that our brains evolved to find compelling and memorable.
Children crave bedtime stories; the holy books of the three great monotheistic religions are written in parables; and as research has shown, lawyers whose closing arguments tell a story win jury trials against their legal adversaries who just lay out ''the facts of the case.''
If you take the time to learn how to effectively tell your story, you may find yourself sitting on top of the world.