Tuesday, December 26, 2006


This time of year, you tend to hear the story about how the angel told Mary she was going to have a baby, and she said, "How can that be? I am a virgin," and then there was no room in the inn and she put the baby in the manger.

And kids in school are taught stories like about Betsy Ross and Paul Revere.

With both religious and historical stories like that, they're told in such a way that I know I'm supposed to revere them, but they don't really do that much for me and I don't know how factual they are.

Recently I heard some stories about when my grandmother was younger. These stories reminded me of where I came from and who I have the potential to be. They made me feel better about who I am and gave me a sense of how to better live up to my potential. And I realized, those other stories from religion and history are supposed to be the same way. That's why those stories are so revered. Because for some people, they had that effect.

But I was writing the other day about how traditions may change with time. The stories that inspired people once may not be the stories that are needed today.

You may say "Stories? What about facts? People should know the facts of what happened." I think one of the reasons the stories I cited don't seem interesting is because they don't seem real. Even in the cases where the things presented are factual, they are kind of presented in a vacuum. You don't know about things in the context that to you are important. So even if all the facts that are presented are actually true, the stories themselves don't ring true because they don't tell the whole story, they leave out parts that I would consider important.

There are many things that have happened in the past, and different people are interested in different aspects. Quite often, when one person tells the story of what they did today to a family member, the person telling the story and the person hearing the story think different things are interesting. In particular, it seems men often want to know just the basic outline of what happened, while women want to know who were all the people who were present and who they are related to. Also, men are more likely to want to know about things pertaining to mechanical and electronic gadgets, while women are more likely to find such things completely uninteresting and irrelevant to what's really important.

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