Why do people tell stories that matter?

Why do people tell stories that matter to them? In my opinion, I think people tell stories that are important to them because it allows them to express their feelings in a way that makes people feel something about it, whether good or bad. I am someone who likes to keep their emotions inside. When someone asks me how I feel, I just say “I’m fine,” rather than explaining why I don’t feel so great that day because I know that if I do try to explain myself, I will only get choked up on my own words. It is so much easier for me to express my feelings and thoughts with a pen and a piece of paper. I just write. I write about whatever that pops inside my head. With no topic, no stress, no pressure. People find different ways to express themselves and I think one of those ways are through stories.

In a Youtube video called ReMoved, there is a little girl telling a story about her life. How her dad would abuse her and how her mom didn’t pay enough attention to her. How she would move from home to home after her parents were taken away from her, but none of them would accept her. How her little brother was taken away from her. It is really difficult to talk about those situations and I think by telling us this story of hers in a video, she is able to express her pain and make it hurt a little less. A line that she says in the video that really stood out as to why she told this was, “Trap in the misery of my life. Lost in the sorrow of my soul.” She tells us exactly how she feels. We are able to imagine what that feel likes although we will never be really sure if we have never been in that situation. Another line that she says is, “I am unseen, unheard, unwanted. That is what I am. If even I am anything.” She uses pathos and makes the audience feel sad. ”Sometimes someone hurts you so bad, it stops hurting at all.” Through this entire video, the only feeling she had was sadness. She felt as if everyday was a nightmare and there was never a morning light. By talking about her situation, I feel like it makes her feel little better. However, I also think she told this story to tell someone to never lose hope because in the end, good things will happen for you. That is shown when she says, “I am lovable. I am worthy of care. And that glimmer of light, it makes all the difference.”Sometimes someone hurts you so bad, it stops hurting at all.” Not only is she expressing the feelings she has inside of her, it teaches people to never lose hope, because at the end of the video, after being separated from her little brother for a very long time, she was finally able to reunite with him. With all of this sadness that was in her life, she ends on a glimpse of happiness which shows that one day, things will start getting better when you feel like you’re diving into a black hole.

In another Youtube video called “Changing the World One Word at a TIme,” there are three girls talking about how they feel about the world. They talk about how schools try to teach them about things that not important. One thing that they said that allowed them to express their feelings about the world is, “They built shopping malls so that we can forget where we are really standing. On the bones of the hispanics, on the bones of the slaves, on the bones of Native Americans, on the bones of those who spoke justice.” The angriness in their voice as they said these words just shows how much hatred they had towards the people. Another thing that they said was, “But we were taught that it is better to be silent than to make them uncomfortable.” the teachers never told them not what to say, but they learned it on their own, they didn’t need a textbook to tell them that. One thing that really stood out to me was when they said, “They give awards for best attendance but not for keeping your family off the streets.” They didn’t have to make a video or write any of this down on a piece of paper, they used their voices to tell everyone how the felt. Although most of the things that they said  was expressed with a lot of attitude and it allowed us to see how they felt about the situation, I think they were also trying to get out a message. That is why they stood on that stage and stated the poem. To let everyone know that people are being treated unfairly and that school are teaching kids about the wrong things. For example in the line, “The greatest lessons you ever teach us, you will not even remember.” This was said in the beginning and in the end of their poem, which means that it is important. They want everyone to know that, you can learn so many more things about life without looking in a textbook or looking at a powerpoint. And I think that they told their story up there to not only express themselves but to also try to make a difference in the world.

In House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, the writer talks about her entire life. She uses interesting word choices to explain how she felt in certain situations. For example, “I forget that I am wearing only ordinary shoes, brown and white, the kind my mother buys each year for school.” By talking about how ugly her shoes are, she feels less ashamed of it. Another thing she was ashamed of was her name, she said, “I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me.” However, after talking about being embarrassed of it, later in the story, she learns to accept it. I also feel like a story is really good at expressing your sadness, “Yes, I nodded even though I knew that wasn’t my house, and I started to cry.” When someone talks about their problems, it lifts a weight off of their shoulder and they feel better. However, sometimes people don’t always tell a story just to express themselves. They also do it to teach a lesson to the audience. For example in the chapter “Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut and Papaya Juice on Tuesday,” the writer says, “[Rafaela] gets locked in doors because her husband is afraid that Rafaela will run away since she is too beautiful to look at,” this entire chapter has nothing to do with the writer’s feelings, but it teaches the audience, especially the women, to never let anyone treat you unfairly.

Of all the three sources, the story that mattered most to me is the Youtube video of the little girl and her family. Although my situation isn’t as extreme as her, I never really got along with my parents. They made me feel like nothing. Always criticizing me, always judging me, always yelling at me for the smallest things. They do it so often that sometimes I feel like I don’t want to live anymore. But the other times I just go numb and don’t really feel the pain as much. However, the way they treat me affects me at school. Whenever I’m around my friends, I’m always self conscious about the things I did. I could never be myself because my parents expected me to act a certain way. They have changed me. I have not been able to express my true feelings, but one day, I hope I can have a great story to tell, that will leave a mark, that will make people who have been in my situation feel safe, make them feel like everything will be ok. Because like the video said, “The glimmer of light, it makes all the difference.”


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