Story is a powerful tool, used to build up our identities, both personal and communal. We share stories to convey our understanding of the universe and our place in it, our strengths and weaknesses and growth. We are natural editors – our stories are not objective recalls of a previous event. For many of us, learning to share stories with others is how we begin to understand ourselves. We craft our identities through sharing our stories. I do not always give a completely accurate depiction of myself or events; I remind myself of the commendable parts of me, and I encourage myself to grow into attributes that I want to foster. I can set myself up to be who I want to be, and then strive towards it. I can also use these stories to think through or justify my actions, to explain shortcomings or to uncover where it all began. Over time, and over countless recitations, our stories – specifically how we tell the story of ourselves – helps us to craft our identity. As our understanding of self changes, it’s only natural that the way we tell the stories of our selves change, too. The way I tell the above story in twenty years might be different from how I share it today.
-From Storytelling, the Dangerous Art of Identity Formation. Applied Sentience written by Esther Boyd.