Do you know one of the things I love about stories and writing? They change the world. They make it a different and a better place. And that’s one of the major reasons that I decided to become a writer. I wanted to change the world too.
Stories are without a doubt one of the most potent forces for change in human history. Through stories, we learn more about the world around us. We learn more about the good things that are happening and we learn more about the bad things as well.
We learn about people. We gain insight into others, and what motivates and inspires them. What causes them to do the things that they do. Through stories, we gain empathy and understanding of other people.
Think about some of the examples of stories changing the world. Think about the work of Dickens, and the role it played in exposing some of the inequalities and injustices of his age, leading to lasting social change. Think about the role stories are currently playing in spreading awareness of global environmental issues. And, looking way back to the past, think about the influence of some of the great religious stories, like the Bible or the Koran, and the role they’ve played in shaping our world.
But it’s not just on a grand scale that stories change the world. I like to think of every one of us as our own little world. And stories play a big part in shaping each of these little worlds. When I think about the books that influenced me, like Lord of the Rings or Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today and my world would be very different without them. That’s a very personal way that a story can change the world. A small way, for a small world, but still a definite change.
When you think about it, stories change the world just by their being. Once you create a story and throw it out into the world, that world is no longer the same place. It’s a world that now has one more completely unique story added to what was previously there. Even if the story isn’t actually read, it’s still out there, making the world a different place to what it was before.
And so, when I look it it that way, I realise that I’ve already achieved my ambition. By writing my stories, I have changed the world. It might be a subtle change, which nobody else can see. Maybe it isn’t creating a radical revolution, or saving the world from itself, but it’s still a definite change. And that makes me happy.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as