Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Story Are You In?

Books. Although some may claim that in the digital age the power of the book to influence culture is waning, I would disagree. While the physical medium of the book may no longer be the primary means by which information is conveyed in our culture, the power of books to shape and influence culture has by no means disappeared.

What is true for cultures is true for individuals as well. All of us are shaped by the way we view the world around - the story that we believe we are a part of, in other words. Alasdair MacIntyre, in his book After Virtue, put it this way:
"[Man is…] essentially a story-telling animal. He is not essentially, but becomes through his history, a teller of stories that aspire to truth. But the key question for men is not about their own authorship; I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’"
This quote, naturally, reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from the cinema adaptation of The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers, a book which has had a profound effect as one of the defining stories of my life:

What story do you find yourself part of?

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