Adding the power of poetry and story to environmental causes

There is an intrinsic value to wilderness, pure water, starlight, that cannot be entirely captured in dollars or in scientific facts. Environmental leaders know this, and use video, artistic photography-- ART--, and stories to express the need for their work. This is where I want my abilities to make a difference. This is my niche.

The Power of Story:

A story captures the emotional essence of something. In a story, people have names. The readers or listeners to story are transported, called upon to remember. For many learners, once they hear a clear story about something, a new concept falls into place.

In a story, there is "heart." Certain clues like the words, "once upon a time," or "one sunny morning," tell the reader to sit up, pay attention‹here comes a real story. What follows had then better be sensory, enjoyable or emotional, and true in the sense of naming universal truth.

I believe that the word "story" still holds meaning in the English language. It is because of this inner shift that we feel coming on when reading a real story‹a shift in the body, an authentic connection. We read a good story (or a good personal essay) and get lost in it, lose track of time, become a character engaged in that story. An article informs; a story inspires.

How can you tell if it¹s a story you have just read, heard, or written? After a bit of writing, there are certain questions a writer can ask to test if it is a story--Do I care about it? Is the voice compelling? Can I see it in my mind? Does the story have some sort of emotional tie? Where is the ache in the story? Where is the courage or transition of spirit in the story? Would I continue reading this‹does it pull me in? Stories connect us to each other with a thread of spirit.

Good stories enhance any evaluation. They may help to raise money, simply because dollars are given when actions touch the heart. Stories also build trusted relationships and this sense of connection. Stories carry across generations‹a thousand indigenous cultures were held together, taught values, or remembered hunting or gardening techniques through the oral tradition. Even today‹no, more and more today‹there are dozens of reasons to gather and write stories, important reasons to add this practice to the culture of your organization or to your life.

"Tell me a story," the child asks, and waits for the sound of your voice.