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Sandhurst

Symposium 4

Great Power Competition and the Return of Inter-State Conflict?

Wednesday 4 March

2020

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The military publisher blog

The military publisher explores ‘what are stories?’

 

We ourselves are stories!

 

Until I started thinking about what stories are and how to tell you what they are, it never even crossed my mind that we are ourselves stories.

 

Your life is a series of linked stories, told by you, your family, your friends and often written down by someone else (like the people in southern Iraq whom I mentioned in my first blog).  When, for example, you buy a car or a house, you’ll always be cited as a previous owner and part of that story. 

 

We realise that a lot of things we don't usually think of as stories are in fact stories, once we look more closely. Take for example an instruction booklet.  It’s not something any of us wants to read, ever, but…it is a story.

 

We talk in stories all the time.  Stories and storytelling are a means of sharing and interpreting our experiences.  We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a book, a film, or something our friends are telling us, and we tend to remember it because we feel so much more engaged with a story than with a series of bullet points. 

 

Why is this?  It’s because our brains are wired that way.  In its simplest form, a story is a connection of cause and effect and that’s exactly how we think, all day, every day.  We are constantly making new stories - when your partner gets home you’ll enjoy a glass of wine and watch a movie and this becomes a story you might tell someone the following day.

 

Our brain is constantly looking for this cause and effect.

 

So, when you say "I don’t know any stories", think again.  You are a story, what you do is a story, how you communicate is, more often than not, a story.

 

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