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… we don’t realize that the astonishing linguistic capacity of the human brain did not evolve in relation to the computer, nor even in relation to written texts. Rather, it evolved in relation to stories that were passed down orally. For countless millennia, stories and story-telling were the way we humans learned our language. Spoken stories are something that we enter into with our bodies. We feel our way around inside a story.
I think children really need to experience stories and to hear their parents and their uncles and their aunts telling them stories. And I don’t mean reading stories to them, but simply improvising stories face-to-face with a child. Or stepping outside and pointing to the forest edge and saying, “Do you know what happens inside that forest every full moon?” Or, “Look at the river. Do you know how the river feels whenever the salmon returns to its waters? It feels this way, and this is the story that tells why.”