Stories in Our Time

We are surrounded by stories. We spend our lives navigating among and by means of stories. In our ancient past, everyone in a given place and time shared the same stories, and those stories were simple and few. They informed people’s lives and gave them meaning. When circumstances changed, which seldom happened, the stories changed as well.

Today, the stories that inform our lives are countless, often confusing, frequently confused, and locked in vicious combat with one another. This battle is tearing us apart. Stories are not intrinsically good or true. Stories are just narratives that people develop to explain, and to an increasing degree, to persuade. We must reject stories that fail to explain the world and our lives meaningfully, usefully, and truthfully. We must not tolerate stories that incite misunderstanding and hatred. We must choose our stories carefully. If we don’t, someone else will choose them for us.

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