If you want to understand why storytelling is so important, you have to understand the importance of metaphors.
Poet and painter William Blake wrote that what is now proven was once only imagined.
A metaphor is a stage upon which we present an aspect of life.
And a story connects the stage experience to the real life experience.
A story is a description of what happens on the stage. A story is a description of what you experience when you look at what happens on the stage.
You could say a story is the restaging of an idea in more familiar ways.
Metaphors are important because they challenge reality and common sense to “understand them”. Which really means that we are challenged to come up with a story – or our own stagings – to make sense out of this image, to make sense of this strange play we call “life”.
Metaphors challenge us to make dreams come true, to make new things happen, to discover things that seem to be beyond our reach.
But not beyond our imagination.
Nothing is forever beyond our imagination.
I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again: If Einstein couldn’t have imagined what relativity was about, he wouldn’t have been able to explain it afterwards. He wouldn’t have been able to communicate (make it visible to a community, connect people around sth) the idea.
He needed an image, a metaphor. He needed something staged. Only then came the explanation. Only then came the story.
The fact that he was passionate enough to go after a great metaphor, to go after that story, and to find the metaphors and language to share his story with the world were equally important in bringing this notion of relativity into our consciousness, into our world.
Well, it was already there, but it was never staged before like that, never made accessible through such a story.
If you think it through then Einstein shouldn’t take all the credit after all. He might have had the in-sight that sparked it all, but then again without the passion and creativity of dozens of other authors, writers, teachers, …, without their endless stream of brilliant re-stagings of Einsteins’ first metaphor, it couldn’t have spread the way it did (and still does).