Saturday, May 26, 2012

Coming of age stories and worthy people

I read fantasy novels which are coming of age stories with female main characters.  Typical plot: girl feels like a misfit, girl becomes a heroine, girl finds love.  The thing is, why does she have to do heroic things before she can find love? Am I unworthy of love because I have not yet found a way to be of value to my community?

That is not how it is presented in the books.  It is presented like the girl is strong, and she needs to find herself in her own right first, before finding love, in order to give her strength a chance to blossom on its own.

Still, I wonder, do I have to contribute to my community in order to be worth anything? I have this belief that people should be loved for who they are, that they shouldn't have to earn that love.  But at the same time, it does seem to me that a person has to make some contribution.  I live in a country where worth is often measured by employment and wealth, which seems pretty bizarre to me.  I don't measure worth that way, but I do measure worth.  A homemaker who has no job, but who cares for her family, she has worth because she cares for her family.  A small child or a severely disabled person may seem unable to contribute,  but that's not true.  They have worth because of the joy the bring to the people around them.  Just look at how people act around a baby, and it's obvious that babies add something to the lives of those around them.

What about me? What do I contribute? Not much.  Some things, but not enough.  That's why I read the stories.  I am middle aged, but I'm still reading these coming of age stories about teenagers, because I'm still hoping to find a way to contribute to my community, and still hoping to become worthy of love.

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