We also couldn’t help but create a story for her too. We declared her a suburban divorcee; a cougar, trying too hard to look young and sexy. The episode only took moments, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since. What is it about other’s people’s lives that are so fascinating? We spanned different generations and genders, yet we all play the universal “What’s the Story?” game.

Not only do we make up stories about strangers, we can now really know their story. Social networks are the new trucker CB radio: constant chattering of conversations and stories. Since I started blogging and posting on , I’m hearing from people who tell me they enjoy knowing about my life. Go figure— there are people who care! And it goes both ways. The other day I watched a hilarious of my cousin’s cousin Jake, who was called onstage at to play piano for comedian . In minutes, I got Jake’s story (personality plus – just like his mom and dad) and it made me happy.

It’s a benefit to view life as a story— even when we take the low road. I’m not proud of the Rumba cougar story, but it did help us bond with one another and provide a reminder against too much alcohol and the benefit of longer hemlines. But nice stories are better. Sharing laughs at no one’s expense, telling about a kindness experienced or a lesson learned— this is the stuff that makes storytelling worthwhile.

If you knew the whole story,
you'd lead with love.

The lady who bumped you on the sidewalk?
She slept on the park bench last night.

The man who was rude in the restaurant?
He's waiting to hear
the results of his wife's biopsy.
One small kindness can make all the difference.

Please remind us:
You can't always tell from looking
what's weighing on a human heart.
Revive the humanity in us
as we bounce off each other in a crowded world.
Renew our spirits as we endure life's struggles.
Restore our souls when we feel we can't go on.



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