Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life is an endlessly fascinating story.

Here's something I've been thinking about. In two of my classes, my professors recently said essentially the same thing. It was something like this:

"A story is only interesting when something goes wrong."

They were talking about how no one wants to read a story in which life is perfect. You quickly get bored and lose the desire to keep reading because if nothing is going wrong, it feels like nothing is happening. Of course, a lot might actually be happening (people going to work, children playing, the wind stirring up leaves) and yet it is all boring unless it involves problems. That's because you start to care about characters as soon as they face trials. "Oh, no! Is he going to get away from those thugs!? I must keep reading, or I just won't know if he survives this....!"

It's kind of funny because people don't like their own lives to be like the stories that they enjoy reading. As soon as problems appear in their lives, they say, "Oh, no! How am I going to get out of this?" And they immediately become unhappy, wishing constantly for their trials to be gone.

But isn't it all the things that go wrong that actually make our lives interesting? If nothing were to ever go wrong, we wouldn't have to make difficult choices. We wouldn't have to struggle, and consequently, we would never grow or develop. Life wouldn't be a journey as much as a stagnation. And we would actually be bored, just as bored as if we were reading a story in which nothing was happening. (Inside of our souls, nothing would be happening.)

So, I have this theory. I think that we can learn to see life as an endlessly fascinating story in which we have endless opportunities to grow. Our trials keep us from getting bored and they keep us progressing. I am going to try to stop being miserable when things don't work out the way I want them to. I am going to try to relax and enjoy my own good story.