Why We Need Stories

I don’t know if you’ve ever read the comment section of any article, but it’s not great. A lot of the comments you read are pretty disheartening. They’re lacking empathy.

And maybe it’s just me, but this is something I’ve been noticing everywhere.


I have a theory about why we’ve become so apathetic (I had to google the opposite of empathy and apathy kind of works!). It’s the way we view the world. The way we talk about things.

It’s no secret that communication is important, but it is REALLY important. It truly affects how we think. If you’ve ever been surrounded by negativity, it’s really hard not to feel affected by that. The same goes with empathy. If you’re surrounded by stories that lack empathy, then you probably won’t be as empathetic.

So how do we bring about empathy? Through storytelling.

I became empathetic after reading books, especially plays If you’ve ever read The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, think of the character Amanda (who plays the mother). She is absolutely terrible, but there are moments where you see a different side of her.

People aren’t good or bad. I personally believer that the whole good versus evil and the whole black versus white doesn’t work. Our world is more than binary. People are beautifully complex. We have the freedom to do terrible or beautiful things. It’s not because it’s in our nature, it’s because we make the choice.

And storytelling gives us a chance to take in that complexity.

Mateen ManekComment