A neuroscience study by a team of scientists at Princeton may help explain why telling stories builds empathy and also why, when you tell a good one, people act as if they’re watching it unfold before them.
Joshua Gowin Ph.D. ( who earned his doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Texas for his work on the cycle of violence and the processes in the brain that may underlie it.) explore this and more interesting insights in his article about why sharing stories brings people together.
“ When you tell a story to a friend, you can transfer experiences directly to their brain. They feel what you feel. They empathize. What’s more, when communicating most effectively, you can get a group of people’s brains to synchronize their activity. As you relate someone’s desires through a story, they become the desires of the audience.
When you hear a good story, you develop empathy with the teller because you experience the events for yourself….This makes sense.
Stories should be powerful. They helped us share information long ago, before we had a written language and Wikipedia.”
Read Joshua’s article on why sharing stories brings people closer together here
Imagine how much more empathy we can create in our community if we look for new and innovative ways to bring people together to share their stories … or a campfire and story circle worked for thousands of years, perhaps rather than innovate, we look to our own indigenous history for what worked
“As Aboriginal people, we have always told stories about our lives, and we know how important it is for people to be connected to their own stories, the stories of their family, their people, their history. The stories are a source of pride. When people become disconnected from them, life can be much harder to live.”
David Clark, Founder Sharing Culture Initiative