I used to come here as a child, she said. I remember looking up and seeing the huge circle that opens out to the sky. I asked my father, does that mean that when it rains, the church gets wet and the people get wet.
My father told me that there is a kind of magic (though he never used the word magic) that encircles the roof exactly where it is open so that the rain never comes in. I was entranced. I was amazed. Magic that protected the church, it was so exciting.
I believed what my father told me until I was well into my 20’s. Then one day I went into the church and saw that it was raining. I realized he lied to me. My goodness, he lied to me.
We were in the Pantheon in Rome, it’s so beautiful and her story reminded me of all the stories and lies that we live with. To me it seems like some are good and some are bad, I wonder is it that simple?
I’ve always believed in telling children stories that make them believe in magic, I suppose I still do believe in magic. So the roof of the Pantheon, Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy, stories that may be determined later as lies, are great stories and serve a wonderful cause; to enhance the belief in magic and the impossible.
Then there are the stories that tell you that if you buy the product you will be more beautiful, more attractive, sexy and desirable and by the way, that’s what you absolutely need in order to be okay in life; the bad stories that really tell lies.
So, is it that simple, there are good and bad stories? It’s okay to lie if the intention is good? Well, that, of course, leads us to dangerous ground.
Here are a few ideas that I think help us keep clear of danger in storytelling!
- The truth is almost always relative and is different for each teller and each listener
- Magic is real – I’m serious, unexpected, unpredictable and strange things happen all the time and that’s a good thing!
- Stories help us create what is possible.
- Stories that have bad intention or are inauthentic are bad stories.
- When you tell a story, you have a responsibility to make it life enforcing, empowering and beautiful (yes, even the sad and difficult stories can be any of the above)
So now you know how to keep out of trouble. Go tell a great story. What story were you told that you believed in for a long time? What magic do you still believe in?
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Best wishes and best stories