Do stories matter? Integrity and the art of story telling


"I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape or form. I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before. That's me and I'm free." -  Anonymous

I have been intrigued by the silent types in movies for a long time; this curiosity about the heroes, who wouldn’t speak too much, or rather let their actions speak. Once can find such persona in movies such as Undisputed III or Rambo (especially Rambo 4, 2008), the silent Stallone types. I wondered what would be going in their minds to be so independent of thought, to think beyond the general people; to be free in what positions they are in; to never try to please anyone at all.

These characters usually have one/more of the following specification in the movies:
       1.       They are silent and prefer to be left alone.
       2.       They had a past which was not good or turned bad, and something which made them strong and capable of doing things which a normal person might not do.
       3.       They have a skill, a very particular skill, which gives them an edge.
       4.       They are fighting to protect someone special to them.

Jason Statham in the transporter movies, Will Smith’s character in Seven Pounds, Sylvester Stallone in the Rambo, Rocky series and even in the expendables, Jackie Chan’s character in The Karate Kid, Denzel Washington in John Q, Liam Neeson in Taken, are all example of people who had the specifications mentioned above.

There is another thing very peculiar to these characters. They have this internal compass which guides them, thus achieving a deeper sense of Integrity.
But I’ve always wondered what makes them so powerful, in emotion and strength over a normal human? And boy, I have an answer.

“It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
                                                                                                                                          
It’s the stories that individuals say to themselves that shape them. It is what builds their destiny.
I used to watch “The Little Lulu Show”, as a kid. There is an episode in it in which Lulu says a story of a girl who has never heard of ghosts and hence she is not afraid. Let me Google.

Ah, here it is, “The Girl who never heard of Ghost”, Season 3, Episode 2.
Lulu says a story to Alvin, about a young girl who once goes to a haunted house one night and plays with supernatural beings. She is found the next day by her mom (I don’t know whether it’s her mom or aunt or grand ma), and her mom says all these scary stories about ghosts to this girl, and orders her to keep away from these haunted houses.

And from that day onwards, the young girl got so scared and couldn’t sleep without the lights on.

Stories shape our destiny.

 “...What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events affect us.”
― Rabih Alameddine, 
The Hakawati

Our ancestors knew a lot about the power of stories that they packed all kinds of wisdom in them. When wisdom was written down in exact words, it was difficult to spread them further, so they packed them in stories. These stories were passed on to generations, carrying out the messages. The stories were told to little kids and were designed that way.

Iron John, Cinderella and several other fairy tales were told to represent something true, about the different stages of life.
Google around and you’ll find more about what these fairy tales have to say.

“Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.”
― Alan Moore, 
V for Vendetta

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
― Erin Morgenstern, 
The Night Circus

Yup. That’s all I gotta say.

PS: You gotta check out the little Lulu show. It’s damn awesome; one of those series which take me to my child hood days. Have a great day.

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