It’s Just a Story
And it’s everything it needs to be
I remember trying to read a bedtime story to my son one night when he was a little over a year old. Of course, at this stage, he was only interested in gnawing on the book and throwing it across the room. The farther it landed, the happier he was.
For once, I did manage to get to the end of a book!
The story was about Abu (of Aladdin and Abu fame). Monkeying around the streets of Agrabah from morning till night. Only to fall sound asleep at the end of the day with Genie lovingly watching over him.
Upon finishing the tale, I felt a bit cheated.
I caught myself thinking: Wait, what’s the moral of this story? What am I supposed to tell my child this is all about? A playful monkey had fun all day, and then he slept. That’s it?
Then, I realized. Not every story needs to have a moral.
In fact, some of the best stories are the ones that don’t try to teach us a lesson. Instead, they let us experience life through the eyes of the characters and see the world in a new way. The best stories help us escape from life’s everyday problems. They take us on a journey to places we’ve never been before. They make us laugh, cry, and think. They entertain us.
But they are just stories at the end of the day. They are what each one of us needs them to be.
Sure, a story might be more enjoyable when it has a bit of a moral or a lesson to teach, much like cheese in a sandwich. But, sometimes, you must let the story be what it is: a fun, enjoyable escape from reality.
Sometimes, you can, and probably should, just have fun all day long and go to bed at the end of the day without a care in the world!