“Once upon a Time…” everyone remembers a story they’ve heard that sticks with them till now. Don’t we? We have heard stories from our Grandparents, Mothers and elders, which shaped our imagination as children. As a generation we grew up hearing stories, cuddled up near our cousins and friends, going on adventures with A brave heroes, cunning animals,Mighty Kings and Scary ghosts. Now as we see the new gen Z, storytelling seems to be a lost art..
It’s not just storytelling, even hearing stories is hard.To sit with a curiosity, phones aside, minds ready to conjure up characters out of thin air,ears focused on one person’s voice…these are luxuries in a fast-paced world.
With so may articles coming today of the messed up “generation z” immersed in phones, forgetting the past, I wanted to tell a few things about the things we refused to give this current generation.Things that we enjoyed in the past,took for granted, and forgot to give our youngsters,in the name of better education.
Remember the times we huddled up near our Grandma or Grandpa, as they started to narrate in a broken voice, the tale of the crow and the fox, or some parts of the Ramayana, or the stories from their childhood? We got lost in their narration, unknowingly learning the importance of truth,kindness and hard work. You can very well tell that we have “moral stories videos” available today, but tell me- can a video narrator teach our children better than their own grandparents?
Whenever I go to my cousin’s house, by afternoon we will be in the middle of a big fight- over broken toys or unfair chocolate sharing.Even if the war is India vs. Pakistan, we begrudgingly have to sit together, to hear my grandma’s stories.By the end of the day, we are more interested in the foxes in the story, than our fight.
Still now when I think of my grandparents, it’s all the times I heard stories from them which stands out to me. It was a gentle reminder of the good qualities they expected in us, it made me like them more, it made me enjoy any minute I turn off the TV and go next to them for a story. And they were not my parents, already stuck in the fast paced world, going after their ambitions. Whoever may be there or not..my paati had all the time in the world to tell me a story.
Maybe this is why gen z is so detached- we even made storytelling to a sport. There is no fun in hearing a story for the sake of it. No more monkeys playing with hats or elephants eating bananas in our imagination.. we made the job easy for us by giving them YouTube and minding our won business. So as they grew, they learnt not to disturb their elders,mind their own business- even through their depression and victories.
Now that we learnt a culture of shutting up our children with smartphones, it will be hard to stay storytelling, all of a sudden. Don’t lose heart.A child’s mind is the same irrespective of things around. Even now we have a chance. Let’s go tell a story to our younlings.
Remember, children learn by imitation. So before you tell a story, take the big step of keeping your phone aside, and bring them with you to enjoy the wonders of the spoken word.. let’s create a world which talks to our children, and expects their stories back.