What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? - Vida Winters, The Thirteenth Tale
I love a good story, don't you? One that stirs the imagination, transports you to far away places and holds you captive. A story where you can taste the air, feel the agony or glory, live lives that become more real to you than your own. A story that "breathes"so deeply you want it to never end.
Hence the phrase - losing yourself in a good book.
Some stories are more than just an escape from reality - especially fairy tales, which are a means of simultaneously losing and finding oneself. Far from being simply a childish diversion, they seek to illuminate as much as to entertain, offering adventure along with time-honored truths. That's why I love to read and write them.
Any teacher will tell you that we learn better when we don't know we're learning, or when we come to a realization on our own. Marketers and politicians know this, which is why our media-driven culture is slow to recognize when it is being manipulated. We like to think that our opinions are "informed", and they are...to a certain extent. But they are only informed by what we are exposed to. Just as a balanced diet requires us to eat what is good for us whether we like it or not, if one wants to be fully informed, one must allow or even compel themselves to consume a variety of information.
Here's a mouthful for you: Our "junk food" media glut is causing an epidemic of attitudinal obesity among the masses, who are overfed on empty and meaningless triviality.
Whoa. You see it in the mind-numbing banter and desperate obsessiveness on Face Book, in the fixation on celebrity, self, and this fad or that. In the glorification of "fun connectivity" over meaningful communication. No one leaves the social network banquet still hungry; instead we overuse and abuse, then regurgitate our "opinions" all over the place, not caring if we offend anyone else. We just want our say.
When we click on this post or that, we can console ourselves with the fable that what we're consuming is "food for thought", but very little actual thinking is going on. What if, instead of relying on pithy soundbites and slanted coverage, we reverted to our own in-depth analysis? What if we read more and "chatted" less? What if we looked for the REAL story instead of the media hype? What if we turned off our I-pads and Smart Phones and had an intelligent conversation with someone we disagree with, while keeping an open mind? What if we picked up an actual book? What if...?
Might not TRUTH come to light?