Great Stories Lately?
The vital guides to moral wisdom
and life transformation.
How does a leader (or for that matter, anyone) build their character?
How do we grow in virtue?
How is a moral way of living fashioned?
There are many parts to that answer? Here I'll only offer one small part (but it is an important part).
Stories have a great power to illustrate and imprint us with the way of virtue. Which is one of the reason why the old stories were told. They weren't told to entertain their listeners. They weren't even taught to educate listeners (in the sense of only giving them ideas). They were told to form the lives of those who listened to them.
Think of Aesop's Fables for one thing. The same is true for most of the mythologies of the ancient world. They were laden with moral guidance and formation.
The great literature of the world are the stories that help us peer inside us, to make sense out of what is there, and to be guided toward becoming better people. Every time I read Lord of the Rings, I am motivated toward virtue.
This is why reading the classics of literature is so significant... and its loss to most of us so lamentable. If you are looking for a place to get started, check out this site for one blogger's suggestions (as well as this beautiful image he uses on his site).
The best movies tell profound stories of morality, and do for a non-literaray culture, what the classics of literature once did. We watch them and we are guided and inspired to become better people.
- Amazing Grace
- Mr. Holland's Opus
- Shawshank Redemption
- Chariots of Fire
- Lord of the Rings
- The Mission
- Remember the Titans
- Finding Forrester
- Of Gods and Men
Now, finding and listening to these BEST stories is not all that is needed for the growth of virtue and the forming of a life of moral substance... but it is a start.
The work of God, the power of Scripture, the need for repentance, and much more is crucial for lasting change, still . . .
Perhaps this year is a time to read some of the great stories and watch (again) some of the great movies . . . and let the power of narrative inspire you on the journey of inner formation.
Check out: Premier Magazine as a way to start connecting with great literature and the ides of great literature. (Also the source of the above image.)
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International