Stories have been a central part of human culture for tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of years. Since the dawn of history our ancestors have been telling stories - to pass along information, like one hunter telling another of how he took down an impressive beast; to pass down lessons, like parents telling their children cautionary fables by the fireside; to bond and entertain, as groups of friends, family, and compatriots; and to inspire, like the thousands of unique legends each and every culture on the planet has.
The importance of stories hasn't gone down one bit as time has moved on. The way they are delivered has unimaginably diversified - the invention of writing definitely shook things up. Now two people didn't even have to be in the same room for a story to be passed between them. Today we have trillions of written words easily available to us just a click away. Other methods of passing along stories have evolved and emerged, too: Theater and music are amazingly varied, and technology now allows us to carry them with us wherever we go.
But still, the old way of telling stories - in person, using your own voice and words - isn't just surviving; it is thriving. We exchange stories with family, friends, and strangers, in situations ranging from close, intimate conversation to on a stage in front of hundreds of people we've never met, being broadcast out to possibly millions more. And we don't just tell stories; we actively seek them out. In fact, 65 percent of our verbal communication as humans is telling each other stories. They bring us closer together, bridging the gaps between us in ways we can hardly explain.