A professor at Duke University once said:
“Evidence strongly suggests that humans in all cultures come to cast their own identity in some sort of narrative form. We are deeply rooted in story-telling.”
Do you believe this is true about yourself? I think all of us have different ways we relate to stories. Some of us enjoy books. Maybe it’s fictional books like Lord of The Rings or some futuristic dystopia–Divergent. Perhaps it’s even non-fictional. Biographies of George Washington, LeBron James, or Donald Trump.
Others of you might say, “I don’t like reading books, at all.” And that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy stories. A story or narrative isn’t just a sequence of written words on a page. Movies also have an opening crisis, a developing plot, characters, a climax, and a resolution.
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t enjoy watching movies. Why is that? Because people find meaning and purpose in them. We cast our own identity in the movies. Maybe the main character has a similar flaw and you can empathize with her. If the movie is about winning a game, it inspires you to do better in sports.
Movies can also guide our ethical decisions. When the main character faces a crisis, we tend to agree or disagree with the choices and even ask ourselves, “What would we do?” It’s even true that we enjoy movies to escape from reality due to the dull nature of existence.
Whatever our motive is, movies attempt to answer the 4 big worldview questions: What is the nature of reality? What is a human being? What happens to a person at death? How do we know what is right and wrong?
Take Batman for example. He is a fictional superhero who fights crime in Gotham City. When he was just a boy, his parents were murdered. This was the nature of his reality. He promised at a young age that all criminals would be punished for their evil. Thus, Batman took justice into his own hands. This was his view of right and wrong.
What’s interesting about Batman is he’s not your typical superhero. He doesn’t possess any superpowers like Spiderman, Flash, or Wolverine. Instead, Batman uses his genius intellect, martial arts skills, detective reasoning, technological understanding, his wealth, and a passionate will to fight for the good. He does this all through human strength. Humans can relate to this hero because he is a potential we could all become.
Not only are stories shared through books, poetry, music, art, and the movie industry, but it’s also found within. You and I each have a unique story to tell. I want to encourage you today to tell someone your story and how it has affected the way you view the world.