We all love a good story, don't we? A couple of weeks ago the family and I were driving to Heritage park to meet up with Grandma & Grandpa when Saydie blurted out, "Dad, you'll never guess what. Two mosquitos flew into the car and pulled out my pigtails." Gazing into the rear-view mirror, I saw the damage these two mosquitoes had caused. My wife Bonny had spent 20 minutes wrestling with Saydie to get her hair done in the first place, and now all the effort was lost.
Sure, it was funny to hear Saydie's excuse for her messy hair, but it was also a glimpse into the natural human tendency we all have to tell stories. Don't get me wrong, stories are great, but more often than not, we embellish our stories in order to garner a specific type of response from our captive audience. I don't know about you, but I've even caught myself weaving together a more illustrious story for my wife from time to time. In these moments I think we are communicating one of our deepest needs as humans...we desire to be loved, respected and admired by others. The weird thing is that the very thing we crave is damaged and diminished if the stories that we tell are not true.
Imagine if each of us would choose to share in the telling of true stories. Would life as we know it be different? If I would be able to rest in the knowledge that I am loved, accepted and admired for who I am without embellishing the truth, would my story telling reflect this confidence?
When you start telling a story, consider the motivation behind your desire to share your story with others; and consider how telling an embellished story may diminish the power of your story for your captive audience.