Many thanks to Matthew at Matt-in-the-Hat for his gracious nomination for the Free Spirit Award. I can’t tell you how honored I am to be nominated by a blogger whose work I greatly respect and enjoy. Seriously, check out his blog for all kinds of neat stuff about anime, games, and a variety of other interesting stuff!
As for this award, according to my understanding, the rules are that you take the topic given by the person who nominated you and run with it–and of course, include the logo and nominate other amazing bloggers. In this particular case, the topic was also left open, so I’ve decided to ramble a bit about what makes “story” so important to me and how stories have changed my perception of the world.
I’ve enjoyed stories a great deal ever since I was little. My parents used to read aloud to me before I could ever read for myself, and once I could read myself, I began devouring books voraciously. I don’t think I’ve ever really stopped (even when I really should have stopped reading and devoted myself to my college studies, oops). A lot of people think it’s strange that I spend so much time involving myself in fictional accounts. But I can’t regret the time I’ve “wasted” at all.
Stories open up the world in incredible ways. I have experienced worlds that I could otherwise have never even imagined. Of equal value (and perhaps much greater practical value), I have seen facets of our own world that I would never have seen otherwise, whether it’s times long past or simply slices of life that are outside of my socio-economic boundaries. I have experienced events that I would have otherwise avoided, met people I would have walked away from had I met them in real life. Even better, I’ve seen the world through the eyes and thoughts of hundreds (probably thousands) of different individuals, each with a unique history, a varied perspective. I’ve been allowed glimpses of understanding of people that I would typically judge and avoid.
Which leads to one of the most significant real-life values of story, in my experience. All of those experiences–more than any one person could possibly live in a single life, no matter how rich and busy they are–give a more solid, adaptable framework for perceiving and handling the world and the people in it. It allows you–or at least, has allowed me–to see people in a different light, as individuals with their own ideas and perspectives which may be significantly different from mine in any number of ways. And I think that having that perspective on the world and other people leads to a richer life, even in the mundane and the everyday.
Furthermore, stories must be credible to some extent for readers to accept them. Maybe the actual events in the story are complete fantasy, but even fantasies must be true to the basic premises the authors set at the beginning for them. And good stories, no matter how fantastic, display truths about life in a way that makes those truths more accessible. This might just be one of the things I love most about a good story: that moment when it’s like “oh, I get it.” Add up enough of those moments, those truths, and incorporate them into your understanding, and you can gain a certain understanding, possibly even wisdom of a sort.
I can certainly say that stories have changed my own life for the better in innumerable ways, which is one of the reasons I gladly share them with the community here.
And after my extensive rambling, I would like to nominate the following blogs. I’d like to know what’s on your mind, so I think I’ll also leave the topic open. Feel free to participate or not (I’m not sure all of you usually do blogging awards, but you deserve the award anyway for your amazing writing. :D):