Monday, January 29, 2007

Rethinking Myth & Story

Whenever possible, expose young people to the great myths and stories of the world. This would also include movies that stir the soul. The medium is less important than the story. Try to steer discussion toward the main character’s situation prior to the beginning of the journey. The main character is typically nobody the world would consider of any consequence. For instance, Odysseus considered himself to be just one man in the entire world, nothing more. Before his great adventure to the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo Baggins was a mild-mannered hobbit who lived in a pleasant little hole in the ground. Thomas A. Anderson was a lonely “computer geek” prior to stepping out of the Matrix. Perseus was viewed as a mere boy before going on his quest to slay the monstrous Medusa. All great stories are essentially telling the same story. This universal or archetypal story tells of an individual who is initially viewed as insignificant and who, through an arduous journey, is eventually revealed as a hero or heroine.

Most students can easily identify with feeling like a “nobody.” Sometimes going through school can make them feel more like a number and less like a real person. Draw them into story. Stories can help them connect with their hearts in a way that nothing else can. They need to begin to see their lives as a great adventure, rather than a series of meaningless events. They need to know that they matter, and that they are more than what the world sees.


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