Tweaking details in our stories

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The stories we pass on from generation to generation are useful for creating order and structure in communities, but sometimes it is worthwhile to take an objective look at the mindsets they create.

Many years ago, I was told about an important work by Bruno Bettelheim, entitled The Uses of Enchantment. This book examines the impact of myths and fairy tales on our psyches, when we hear or read them as children. Scholars such as Joseph Campbell also formulated ideas based on this theme, in a wider sense.

Dream factories that produce entertainment for mass audiences are often much more influential than many of us are willing to admit. Isn’t it interesting that some of the institutions regarded as being at the apex of our social orders are now negotiating with recent entrants who dare to question the status quo?

We are living in times that are not comfortable for those who don’t want to do the mental work needed to make things better for everyone. Somewhere along the line, most of us are finding that we have to think outside of the boxes that we found cosy in our early years.

Cultures and heritages have always been fluid and dynamic. If we aim to have open minds about dealing with each other, perhaps we could all enjoy the negotiation process much more.