Ever since humans first noticed they were different from the other creatures, they (we) have been trying to figure out what specific quality sets us apart. Opposable thumbs? Awareness of self? Awareness of death? It can’t be; other creatures share, or at least seem to share those characteristics.
From the beginning, as humans huddled around the fire, they exchanged stories, and the best storytellers were revered. That is the one trait we humans alone have: the ability to tell and appreciate stories. Stories are our foundation, as necessary to us as love. Stories help us figure out who we are as individuals, and who we are as a people. Stories take us away from our problems, yet they also help us solve them.
We cry at the misfortunes of people we’ve never met, people who never were, people who seem more real to us at times than our own families. And we rejoice in the successes of those story people as if they were our own successes.
With all our sophistication and technology today, we haven’t come far from our primitive beginnings. Where once we huddled as a group around flickering fires, we now huddle singly before our flickering screens, but the need, the basic human need for stories is the same.
Although most of us may never get published, thanks to the Internet we can still reach others with our vision of the world, with our interpretation of it.
There is satisfaction in that, though, to be honest, getting paid would be even more satisfying.