What’s your favorite story?
Not your favorite movie or book, not your favorite author or character or moral. Your favorite story.
My favorite story is one you have heard many times before. A group of completely ordinary people, with no special gifts, no special treatment, go about their ordinary lives wishing they could change the world. Then something happens that transforms their ordinary world into something different and unpredictable. This group of ordinary people, somehow, change the world. They aren’t heroes. They don’t have superpowers. Yet they make it work. They make a difference.
Our favorite stories don’t have to be specific or original. They don’t have to be stories we make up ourselves. But everyone should, and probably does, have a favorite story. It’s the story they wish they could experience firsthand. It’s the story they hope to someday manipulate, pull apart and reshape in order to create something new, something exciting, a story worth sharing.
Something happens when you spend enough time with your favorite story. You realize that it isn’t just the writers or the characters or morals you love. You love the story because it makes you feel good. It makes you feel inspired and hopeful and complete. It gives you strength when you have none. It helps you imagine a future when normally doing so often proves impossible.
Stories are nothing more than fragments of thousands of writers’ imaginations, mixed and matched, put together into trillions of different combinations. And in that way stories are a form of magic. Our magic. Our everything.
Stories matter to us, the writers, because they make up everything we want to do and be and say and believe. We are ordinary people living ordinary lives. We want to change the world. But we aren’t perfect, not even close. We’re good at writing and maybe not much else. We’re shy or we’re unmotivated or we don’t play nice with others. We’re too caught up in our own ideas or we don’t know how to relate to other people or we just want to do something good, but don’t know how.
Yet we have stories. We collect them. We play with them, craft them. We know how to rebuild and change them. We know how to tell them in a way no one else has before. And that is what we live for.
What’s your favorite story? And how are you going to use it to change the world?
Image courtesy of Entrepreneur.
Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner. She has published work in Teen Ink, Success Story and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.