Last week I saw a post on Facebook that jarred me pretty good. A friend of mine posted a photo of a bald tire with a caption about his dad. The caption read something like, “5 years ago today my dad was killed in a car wreck on a rainy day. The collision was caused by the other car having bald tires. Please look at your tires. If they’re balding, please get them replaced.”

I never wanted to rush out and get new tires so much. I didn’t even need new tires.

If he said instead, “According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s 2014 report of highway fatality statistics, 1 in every 125 highway accidents was caused by balding tires. Of those 125 accidents, 23 caused at least 1 death”, that would not have nearly as much impact on me. (I made up those statistics in this paragraph – just making a point)

This illustrates perfectly that our stories, shared with a caring heart, trump outside data. When we teach out of our own pain or experience, our lessons become memorable. When our students feel the emotion attached to our illustrations (humor, fear, anticipation, sadness, etc.), they will be more even more likely to remember the illustration. This prolongs the impact of the lessons we teach.

Also published on Medium.