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Don't believe everything you think


As a kid, I read and re-read books about mythology. I admit I sometimes mixed Greek names with Roman ones – incorrectly pairing Zeus with Juno or Jupiter with Hera – but I learned the aspects, powers and weaknesses of all those gods and goddesses. I was fascinated by all the stories. So, it was a delightful surprise to come upon an artistically animated and sonorously narrated series called Great Greek Myths, created by François Busnel.


Here were all the stories I loved recounted. There was the creation story with Chaos and Gaia and Ourunos, Stories of Zeus, Hades, Prometheus, Apollo and more, all mystically intertwined and overlapping as I had recalled. But when it came to the episode on Dionysus, the story took many unfamiliar turns. “This isn’t right,” I thought. This was not the story I remembered reading over and over again. They’ve made a mistake. They’ve got it wrong.


I was beginning to get upset. And then I realized: this is a myth. This is not true. It’s a fiction. A story. An imaginary tale. There can be no wrong or right about it.


That’s the power of believing. I was so convinced that my memory was right, that what I believed was the correct story, I’d completely lost the thread that it was all fiction in the first place.


Our stories are powerful. Telling them over and over to ourselves, our family and friends, hardens their reality. They become the truth. But what if the story we tell is made up? What if it’s a fiction or simply our version of events?


Be humble. Be open to the opinions and versions of other people. You don’t have to acquiesce to everyone else on every subject, but it’s important (it can even be life-saving) to accept that your way is not the only way; maybe it’s not even the right way. Or it’s outdated. Or partial.


Memories are very powerful indeed. More powerful than memory, though, is humility.  

 

6/17/24

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