They say we spend 8 hours of our lives sleeping, 8 working, and 8 for faffing around in between.
In Korea that might be more like, 3-5 hours sleeping, 12 working or at least making sure the boss sees you’re ‘at work’ which often includes drinking, singing loudly out-of-key and nodding off in various odd places, 3-5 on the toilet (yes, the toilet is a popular vacation destination), and 4 for faffing around in between.
However you divide your life, how much time do you spend listening to or telling stories?
A lot, or a little?
What is a story?
One online dictionary says a story is “an account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious”. Does that sound about right?
When you chat to people, what do you talk about? Do you mostly talk about who did what, when, where, how, and with whom?
Or are your chats usually full of the “OMG I can’t believe it!” and “She/he did WHAT?!?!” Do you agree on, or fight about who is the hero, who is the villain, and what people should or shouldn’t have done, and what should happen next?
You won’t be on your own. From what I hear around town, that seems to be what everyone talks about most of the time.
My question today is, how much does this contribute to better living? A lot, a little, or not at all?
Same or different story?
Have you ever read Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, detailing the same story told by four different characters? Probably not. OK. What about seeing a movie where the same plot is viewed from several different characters? Run Lola Run? Pulp Fiction?
Even if you’ve never read or seen any of these things, in your own life, have you ever heard the same story from different people?
Was the story the same, or different? Have you ever heard the same story told completely different ways, or even from polar opposites? Amazing isn’t it?
Certainly, each account, no matter how different, will be true or right to at least one person. And if you tell a story enough it could even become the accepted version of reality to other people.
What about you? How do you decide which version is true or right?
What is true?
What if NONE of it was true or right? What if ALL stories were simply interesting points of view?
What if you no longer had to side with someone in a story and fight against someone else? Would that make your life easier and more fun?
And would this make it easier for you to create the life you’d really like, rather than trying to figure out from all the stories what life you should be creating?
“I choose not to listen to, tell or buy the story.”
Sure you can enjoy a story for the heck of it. Smile and nod and smile and nod. Then at the end, you can say “Wow, that was a terrific story! I’m amazed you’re still sane.” Then change the subject.
What will you talk about with your friends? Whatever makes you smile and laugh. What is that for you?
Contributed by Mary-Jane Liddicoat