Regardless what some want to believe, words always mean something. It's why words exist. One person said something and another wanted to distinguish a difference. The dispute led somewhere along the way to the practice of defining words. These words are what we use now to communicate with one another and what we use to try to build peace. When words fail, so too does peace. However, it's the idea that words can fail us that leads to violence. Words can always serve us. They can always unite us. Words aren't some kind of burdensome legacy, they are a tool to wield properly and to hold people responsible for. It's why the practices of libel and slander still exist, when one uses words to injure others, the damage can be worse than a natural disaster, which is why there are laws against those practices.
Stories are a collection of words that tell a tale of some kind. Very little can happen in a story and yet it can still be a story. Why? Well, you have to read and learn words to find out. Literacy is a tool and it's abilities to bring peace are deliberately related to the reader's ready comprehension and capacity to ask questions when comprehension doesn't come.