“What do you protect?” Storytelling Shifts Focus

A few days ago, I was listening to the song “Hail the Hero” by Celtic Thunder, and something in the lyrics struck me:

“Hail the hero, strong and true,
Who fought the fight, and saw it through,
Who swore he ne’er would be a slave
And gave his life our land to save.”

Do you see it?  No?  Look at this line then:

“And gave his life our land to save.”

There’s been a subtle shift in the focus of what is being protected in a story.  It used to be that the hero was trying to save a land, a world, or a people as a whole rather than being devoted to an individual.  They gave everything “for the land.”  Often, rulers were tied to the land in some way, either through mystical means (having a literal bond with the earth) or through responsibility as a prince or princess, a king or queen.

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Modern Mythology

In case anyone missed the Twitter memo (and I’m sure some of you did), I will not longer be posting an entry here on The Cat’s Cradle every week.  Life has just gotten too insane for me to keep up that kind of pace. At least, not and maintain some quality control.  So, from now on, I’ll be posting every other week, roughly 2 entries per month.  I hope that you’ll all stick around and continue to enjoy them!

With things in my own life fluctuating madly, I thought it rather relevant to say that we live in an increasingly uncertain world.  As Don Henley says, “The more I know, the less I understand.”  Nihilism and existentialism isn’t new, but I personally feel it encroaching further and further into the human psyche.

What do we have to believe in?

If you watch the news, not much.  Every day there appears to be more death, destruction, and wanton waste of life.  Corruption and exploitation run rampant.  Ignorance and idiocy walk hand in hand as common sense becomes more precious than gold or diamonds.  The honest and the honorable are pushed to the sidelines, trampled on, or ridiculed.  And in an increasingly secular world, faith doesn’t seem to have a place anymore.

So, what can we believe in?  Who can be role models?  What can inspire us to become more than we are, better than we are?  Or to at least help us make some kind of sense of this insane world of ours?

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