We live in a time when we're inundated with stories-- in ads, in songs, on the Internet-- and because they're all competing for our attention, they tend to have overbright characters and hyped-up plots; it's too much to take in, so it just sounds like noise. In the rare case when we do come across a story with human-scale characters that feel like you and me, and a way of unfolding that makes it possible to imagine what it would be like to be in that situation, we really notice it, and it speaks to our heart. In ways that news reports and debates can't, great stories help the world around us make sense to us.
This, by-the-by, is one of my two favorite podcasts. There is alwasy an amazing story to listen to. It make me wishe I was starting over again as a broke college student. I'd persist until I was involved in some way.
Of course, I still could, I do realize. I just have more to consider now.