I like this quote from Alice LaPlante, an author, answering the question: How can stories change the world?
...I think the most important thing that stories can do for us is give us experiences we otherwise wouldn't have. By "experiences" I mean everything from events, to thoughts, to emotions, that are outside our normal frame of reference. Experience can lead to understanding, which can lead to compassion for our fellow human beings. Not always, but often enough. And in difficult times, compassion is essential for helping as many people as possible survive until things get better all around. Not to sound too smarmy. But if people had more insight into their neighbors' hearts and minds, we could possible alleviate much unnecessary suffering. Stories have the power to do that.