Can you list any of the manufacturing differences between a Nike shoe and its competitors? Probably not. But if you are a certain age, you probably have the Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla television commercial by Nike indelibly stamped on your long-term memory. And that’s just one example of the explosion of storytelling in America.
Economists are busy “documenting the increasing variety and quality of all forms of story-based media.” Factual recitations of product features are out. Marketers know that if you want to sell something, wrap it in a story.
This is nothing new, of course. We’ve been telling stories to each other around the campfire or in our homes for millennia — whether the subject is Homer’s Odyssey or the primeval narratives from Genesis. Stories are not mere entertainment. They shape the way we see the world. They also shape us.
Human beings, you see, are hard-wired to respond to stories. Researchers know that the “love hormone,” Oxytocin, is released when we hear a story that resonates. This increases our levels of trust, compassion, empathy, and pro-social behavior. But that’s just the beginning.
Neuroscientists have discovered that storytelling also ignites neural coupling. Medium.com says that “when listening to a well-told story, the exact same areas of the brain light up on an MRI in both the storyteller and listener. Your brain, as the listener, mirrors the brain of the storyteller.”
“In other words, when you hear a well-told story, your brain reacts as if you are experiencing it yourself.”
So it’s little wonder that Jesus, the living Word, communicated so often via stories. Instead of a lengthy treatise on the priceless worth of God’s Kingdom, he told us a parable in one verse about a man who joyfully sells everything he has to acquire a field containing a hidden treasure. Instead of a dissertation on divine love, He described a Father who gave His only Son that we might live.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stan Guthrie