That reminds me of a story

by Nick on December 14, 2014

Good stories are always embedded in context and relationship. That’s why stories are experiential and multi-sensory: as we listen to them we can see the movie, hear the soundtrack, feel the emotion. Sometimes we can even experience the redolent senses of smell and taste. All this helps make stories seem ‘real.’ That’s why researchers say that stories are the primary way we learn, remember, and make sense of our world. Stories resonate in the mind and memory long after other forms of communication are forgotten as this story suggests …

A visiting CEO was invited to the annual Thanksgiving dinner at the New York Chamber of Commerce. Political correctness was naturally observed and a Christian priest, a Moslem imam, and a Jewish rabbi were all present to give thanks before the feast.

The priest spoke for ten minutes on the importance of forgiveness in Christianity. The imam spoke for another ten on the importance of charity in Islam. People were starting to get hungry.

The rabbi sensed the energy in the room and he simply told a story: a two minute story with an embedded message. Six weeks later, when the CEO and I met up for a pre-Christmas drink, he told me he couldn’t remember a thing the priest and imam had said. But he vividly remembered the story.

In fact not only did he remember it. He was still acting on the message that was so elegantly and powerfully embedded in it.

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