Stories Do Work

Scott Thoreau asks:

“Could a greater miracle take place than for the us to look through each other’s eyes?”

We have been telling stories to one another for centuries now, for as long as we have been using language to communicate as human beings. As children we are fascinated with the magic stories bring to our lives.

As a child I for one loved the stories my maternal grandmother used to tell me. Her stories were no ordinary fairy tales. No! She used to tell me stories of her childhood and youth, and of the place where she grew up. A far away land so captivating that I always went to bed dreaming about it.

My grandmother and grandfather came as refugees to Lebanon in 1939. My mother, the eldest child in her family, was not even eight years old then. My father was only ten. The entire population of Musa Dagh in Turkey was displaced. “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh” by Franz Werfel is our story, the story of my grandparents and great grandparents and their heroic fight for freedom.


I loved to hear about their displacement and the hardships they faced in their new home in Ainjar, east of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon near the border with Syria. A place where they didn’t even speak the language. To me as a child these stories were so fascinating regardless of how heartbreaking and painful and sad they were.

Because their stories taught me the most valuable lessons in my life. That if you have the will to live and succeed no matter where you are, no matter if you have nothing in this world, you can do so if you work hard and persevere.

Scott Russell Sanders wrote:

“Stories do work on us, on our minds and hearts, showing us how we might act, who we might become and why.”


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