The Moth: The beauty of storytelling

A speaker sharing her story on the Moth stage. Photo Credit: Adamaris Reyes

By Adamaris Reyes ’19

Founded in 1997, “The Moth” has been able to share thousands of true stories that many people have to share. Because these stories are true, their  authenticity is perceived as soon as the speaker begins to share their story. It’s no wonder why “The Moth” is such a unique podcast, as it contains compelling and, at times, funny stories with many praises and love.

What makes “The Moth” a one of a kind podcast is that it’s “a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling.” People from all around choose to share their stories so they “cannot only bring humans together but also foster mutual understanding.”  Although when listening to the podcast, you can’t physically be part of the audience and look at the speaker standing in the middle of the dim lighting; the stories that are told feel equally compelling and impactful just as if you were part of the audience.

One of the first stories that I listened to was titled “Honor and Glory.” I listened to the first story out of the three, and I have to say that this story was very captivating. The speaker was Kernel Jill Morgenthaler, who served for thirty years in the military. In her story she talks about her admiration for her dad and how she wanted to be a soldier just like him. But she points out how during the 1960s having such a dream was almost impossible; nevertheless, she was “one of ten women to get a ten year ROTC scholarship.” Morgenthaler’s ability to be part of a mostly male-dominated career was such a thrilling and bittersweet moment for her and her colleagues. Morgenthaler recalls feeling overwhelmed by the large group of men marching and shouting in the boot camp and how from there on the name calling started like “butcher” and “bimbo.” She even retells the time when she “stopped at a coke machine, [and] a soldier came up just knocking me out of the way… [saying] go home!”

Overall Morgenthaler speaks of the frustration she felt at that time and how she “[battled] to earn the respect of her fellow [male] soldiers.”

“The Moth” has been known to share stories that have a deep meaning and feeling. Those who have listened express their love for this podcast and the unique experience it creates for those who attend “The Moth Stage.” Some, however, claim that this podcast can sometimes be really fun and captivating, but it can also be depressing and dark.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that some stories are dark because some of these topics are important to talk about and to share with others. Maybe they aren’t the happiest stories, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth sharing.

All in all, “The Moth” is a great podcast to always look forward to. There is no doubt that every story holds a meaning and authenticity that not many podcasts can share with its listeners.

  • Listen on Spotify or Themoth.org
  • Listen for free
  • Attend a live Moth event here in Chicago, check for dates on Themoth.org!