We all know that stories sometimes go viral, apotheosizing into memes. But much more interesting than a single story propagating itself through retelling is when stories inspire the telling of other stories in a cascading cultural daisy-chain.
What anecdote can you share with a friend that inspires them to share an anecdote of their own, deepening your mutual understanding? What might inspire them to share their story with others in a way that inspires those others to open up in turn, each a domino falling across an expanding web of conversations that stitch humanity yet more tightly together?
Stories can reproduce themselves through repetition, but a certain kind of story unlocks the hearts of those who hear it so that they pay it forward by giving of themselves.
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Eliot Peper is the author of nine novels, including Cumulus, Bandwidth, and, most recently, Veil. He sends a monthly newsletter documenting his journey as a reader and writer, tweets more than he probably should, and lives in Oakland, CA.