It's all a story, whether we tell the story with numbers, movement, paint, notes, or words. History, philosophy, genealogy. We make meaning of our lives through stories, our own and those of others. We laugh, we cry, we learn from stories.
College students take exception when they hear that there are only seven stories in the world, believing--as every generation believes, despite irrefutable evidence--that they are masters of their unique destinies. One can't blame them, really, as we no longer put much emphasis on the study of Aristotle's seven characteristics of tragedy or its six component parts. Nor are we avid readers of Christopher Booker's tome on the seven basic plots and why we feel the need to (re)tell them.
But if one is patient, reasonably informed, and willing to find the teaching moment, the Pixar generation will offer 22 "story basics" to confirm that nothing is really new, from Aristotle's view of the world in about 350 BC to the coolest, hippest storytellers of 2012.
It sums beautifully.