Lately, I’ve been hearing about how many different organizations wants to help promote their products through story.  Several mission and relief agencies continually tell about the story of one of their people, whether it’s a school boy who has benefited from the generosity of his donors or infomercials featuring people who need help.  Even corporations like Tim Horton’s realize that if they can get you to connect to their story, you’ll be more likely to buy their product.

Stories are a funny thing.  A good story will naturally create an emotional attachment to us.  For instance, you could be watching a movie.  When it gets intense, your heartbeat will likely be faster.  When something traumatic happens, you may even cry.  God created us to connect through stories.  So it’s no wonder that people love to hear stories.  It’s also no wonder that people will use stories to drive towards specific goals, whether with good intentions like providing clean water in a remote village or sometimes for profit.

Yet I wonder, when more and more people and organizations trying to tell their story, will be slowly become too saturated and get to the point of extreme apathy.  Let’s face it, a human being can only make so many emotional connections/attachments before their emotions shut down (almost as like a defense mechanism).  Grant it, some have higher reservoirs than others of emotional capacity.  But we are all limited and finite.  At some point, the stories, good or not, will cease to really help us care.  In some ways, we may have already begun to do that.  Maybe that’s why we may tend to change channels when the World Vision commercial comes on.  Or when we get another flyer about someone who needs help we may just throw it out.  The fact is, when more and more stories coming out, perhaps our story filtration system will have a higher threshold before we make an emotional bond.

I wonder if we, as those agencies who tell the stories, need to be cognizant about who those stories are going out to (at least within our influence) and perhaps we need to take responsibility in making sure that we’re not just another voice shouting out at the public trying to get their attention.  Because sometimes, as a recipient, it just feels like there are just lots of people shouting out their stories, trying to get my attention, and really, I can’t take all the noise anymore.