The need to tell stories, to create narratives, grows from the weird essence of the human condition: we are conscious, and inextricable from consciousness is the awareness that we are going to die. This knowledge makes simply living kind of a crazy act. Plus, life is chaotic, and most of what happens during our short time alive just happens to us. Most of what happens occurs by chance or through the will of some outside entity; occasionally we are able to exert power, but usually with compromise and adjustment. So we narrate our lives as we live them, making sense of the chaos by organizing our experiences. Forming our lives into plot, we can pick out certain patterns and see some cause and effect. We learn to navigate the chaos, sometimes, little by little. We believe we are moving forward. There are seven billion of us walking around with our stories unfolding inside our heads. We have an unspoken -- generally unconscious -- understanding of this fact. We tend to cluster within cultures where our narratives take similar forms. There is, though, still the problem of language. Much of the frustration of being human arises from the different experiences we have of words and their meanings, even when we speak the same tongue.