Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why Isn't Life More Like a Good Story?

Good stories are driven by similar attributes.
Good stories have a lifelike character to them.
Stories are very important to us.

We are surrounded with enough stories that I think sometimes we can be tempted to judge real life by the lifelike. Sometimes we might try to compare our story by the attributes of good storytelling.

For example:

  • Are there interesting things happening to our main character?
  • Is there interesting character development?
  • Are there unexpected turns that "change everything"?
  • Is there enough drama and action?
TV & Movies are great examples of stories, but with these stories come even more attributes:
  • What (normal) attractive people look like
  • How interesting people interact with one another
  • How interesting people respond in different situations, crises, and dramatic moments
Maybe our life might not make the greatest story, but that's not a bad thing. The more interesting stories are interesting because they are bigger than life, they transcend reality yet are still life like. If they weren't, then they would be so life like that they might not be as interesting. Stories can give us insight into life, but they shouldn't define our lives. Stories can take us emotionally and intellectually to other worlds, but like waking up from a good dream real life "sets in".

It's really interesting how good story telling is derived by pulling familiar elements from contemporary life, but in that portrayal many people find definition (whether to a greater or lesser degree). I think movies and TV and stories in general really are a large source of influence in our lives, more than some of us realize. It's really fascinating how there is a cyclical pattern to stories, as they are based on people's experience in life, but then change people's lives. This certainly can be negative, but also can be positive.

I'm not sure why, but sometimes it feels like contemporary stories impact my life more than His story of Good News. His story is certainly more than a story, but also the greatest story ever told. If any story should change our lives in significant ways, if any story is worth emulating and striving to be a character in, His story certainly stands far above the rest.

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