We all grew up listening to stories that our parents recited to us during our childhood. Whether in the form of short stories, poems, or even two-liners, we can still remember the stories bringing immense excitement and joy. Stories do matter to human beings. The innate compulsion to tell stories and listen to them with eagerness has meaning beyond the general imagination.
When it comes to storytelling, we immediately think of myths and folklore. While myth is now related to something false, it is the world’s oldest form of storytelling. But as we keep growing in this digital age, myths and folklore are dying out. Most people think that science has overcome fairytales and made them irrelevant.
However, myths and folklore are more than just fairytales. Thus, we must understand how myths and folklore bind us together as a society and why they should be revived!
Storytelling: A Lost Art
With the digital age devouring every soul on the planet, the art of storytelling is slowly dying out. As Walter Benjamin, a German-Jewish intellectual of the 1930s, says, with a lack of experience, face-to-face connection, and communal feeling, the art of storytelling is fading away.
However, there is another side to the digital age. People are using online platforms to revive the art of storytelling by using different modes of communication. Especially on platforms like YouTube, Twitch streams, and TikTok, young creators are finding ways to promote ancient stories with visual elements to make storytelling more exciting and relevant. If you love storytelling, now is the time to gain some followers.
Storytelling has the power to preach great wisdom found in old tales of our ancestors. Storytelling facilitated through the telling of folklore, urban legends, or mythology has the essence of bringing a community together and creating a sense of belongingness.
Through storytelling, be it orally or through written texts, we share cultural values, beliefs, and norms that our ancestors have passed over for generations to come. That is to say, storytelling is the way through which we understand and process reality.
As scientist Roger Schank stated, “Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” Thus, when we talk about storytelling, they are beyond just entertainment. They have the power to change a person’s perspective towards life. It is a key part of human culture that we should protect at all costs.
Mythology And Folklore
What are Myths? The earliest record of mythology can be traced back to ancient cave paintings. Myths are traditional stories that aim to answer philosophical questions like the creation of the world, mysteries of life and death, day and night, and more. Before science discovered logical answers to questions like this, myths and tales were the only explanations that the early men found solace in.
Ancient myths mostly feature gods, goddesses, demigods, and other supernatural bodies. Especially in the ancient Greek and Roman myths, gods and supernatural bodies and their tales play a big role.
The sole purpose of myths is not to give us any logical understanding of life. The aim is to help us understand and make sense of the universe through symbolism. Although they are filled with symbolic meaning, these stories help us pursue how our ancestors constituted a basic foundation of life.
What are Folklore Tales? Folklore tales are a collection of fictional stories about people and animals. Unlike myths, which answer bigger questions of life, folklores is mostly about everyday life. They will always contain a moral or a message at the end.
Every culture has its own myths and folklore tales. However, there are some universal tales present worldwide that talk about life and death. One among them is the “Great Flood, “ a way of preparing oneself for a worst-case scenario.
Why Are Ancient Stories Important?
Mythology and folklore might seem irrelevant when technological advancement and science can give logical answers to life. Well, it is not correct. Any culture without its mythology is doomed.
Modern stories and films are churned out to make money. They are not here to last long. But myths and folklore have been around for ages, and they will continue to live for generations to come.
The true power lies in the ability of the stories to make one understand the stages of life, adversities, happiness, and hopefulness. Without storytelling of myths and folklore, meaningful life will cease to exist.
Below are some reasons why storytellers are trying to revive ancient tales even today:
The most important reason we should revive ancient tales is that they are embedded with history and cultural beliefs. In every country, myths and folklore help the people understand their past. The tales have the ability to deeply connect people of modern times together by taking us back to the ancient days.
Ancient tales give us the idea of sharing the same fears, joys, wishes, and livelihood. Hence, it builds a sense of collective identity. We start feeling a sense of community among each other. From helpless strangers to brotherhood, ancient tales have the power to bring us together.
Another very crucial aspect of keeping ancient tales alive is to keep in touch with the metaphysical existence. It is the ability of ancient tales to awaken a sense of wonder in us regarding the nature of existence.
As we grow up, we usually let go of such thoughts and start to follow a mundane life. We often take life for granted. But when we engage with ancient tales, the sense of awe and wonder about life is revived. Even the fact that we exist starts to feel like a blessing.
Finding Our True Selves
Ancient tales talk to our hearts. They have the ability to reconnect us with our deeper souls. We start identifying with the tales and giving meaning to the deepest of our thoughts. They make us curious and help us find answers to things we never thought of.
Every time we reconnect with ancient folklore and myths, we understand that we are more than just humans working a 9-5 job. We are more than just living beings trying to make money to feed ourselves. These stories give deeper meaning to our existence and make living a whole new experience.
In conclusion, ancient myths and folklore can never grow old. They hold a deeper meaning of life that even the new generations need to learn about. And the only way to keep ancient tales alive is through storytelling!