“We read statistics but our brains are organized on narrative, on stories, and we don’t retain the statistics. We need to see the embodiment, the lives behind the statistics.”
“People are hungry for stories.”
Hungry for stories — what a wonderful way to think about our readers: as people who are hungry for the words and images we bring them.
And how true and powerful Gloria’s insight is: we need narrative and stories to make statistics meaningful, to make sense out of the way the world works — and doesn’t. She was referring to the premiere of a new documentary by HBO called, “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert,” which traces the story of a single mother’s struggles to raise her three children and cope with serious health issues on a low-paying salary as a nursing assistant.
For Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, Katrina is every woman. Her story gives voice to an issue that affects 42 million American. Sheila calls Katrina a survivor: “She knew her plight but she didn’t feel sorry for herself. She stands straight in the neglect that we as a society have provided her with. She raises her children with an enormous amount of passion and love and she’s a symbol….”
Stories are powerful. They matter. They give people a voice, hope, a chance to share who they are, what they’ve learned, and what they need. They help restore order and give shape and meaning to an often seemingly chaotic and anchorless world. And we’re the storytellers: you and me. We have wonderful, uplifting, transformative, inspirational work to do. So let’s write on!