With the cold dark nights coming along, many of us start dreaming of a cosy room, shutters closed and a roaring fire. And with this week being Halloween and Bonfire night, they’ll be no shortage of bonfires and fireworks to enjoy. So when we read about some research on the power of a bonfire, conducted by an American anthropologist , Polly Wiessner, it made us think.
She studied the bushmen of Namibia and Botswana. During the daytime, their exchanges were remarkably similar to the sort of talk around any tea or coffee break in Britain.34% of the time is spent complaining, with a similar amount given over to the practicalities of getting by, with16% devoted to joking. This is according to her study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal. However, at night, around the bonfire, 81% of the bushmens’ conversations are stories – of gods, weddings, hunts, distant friends and truck breakdowns. “At night, people really let go, mellow out and seek entertainment.” she said.
So switch off that screen and search out your own roaring fire. Mellow and tell your friends some stories. You will never have a better audience.
“Whoever tells the best story shapes the culture” Erwin Raphael McManus