Even when I have spent a lot of time writing (I’m kind of a writer), when I was asked to write about a valuable life lesson I just got stuck. I was wondering about what to write and realized that most written stories are dishonest.
Usually, nobody wants to be the bad guy. People often talk about how they have been trying hard to be nice and do good things for others. “They made me that, I tried my best, I don’t think I deserved that”. But everyone has cheated, lied or been mean sometime. We’re humans after all, the only species that finds pleasure torturing others and killing for fun ̶ and that fact is not even mentioned in an encyclopaedia̶ . Why cannot we accept this as a fact?
What’s the reason for denying who we really are? We’re supposed to be kind and have empathy and compassion. However, if we sink into deep thought, what we find may be reasons to reflect about what we are doing wrong.
It’s hard to talk about oneself in an “objective” way. Perhaps it is because we are subjects, and we are not capable to point out what’s wrong with us. I mean, If you were a tree, how can you know that you’re a tree? Humans name things, that is another issue that defines us. The trees have no idea of what a tree is, only humans know that. So, maybe you’ll need someone else’s point of view to know something about who you are.
I thought about the things I have written, and the stories and novels I have read. The best ones (or at least the ones I like the most), are more neutral. There are no good ones or bad ones in there, the writer just made an effort to be honest and scratched his guts from the inside to create a character made of flesh and bones. And those kind of stories usually are more powerful and have more credibility.
So, why do most people still talk about themselves like they were flat characters? We need stories about heroes that incarnate the human values, that’s the reason why Greek tales are still quoted and reinvented. Odysseus has enough strength to deal with giants, cyclopes and sirens, and had the intelligence to know when to use each of his atributes as well. Maybe we need those kind of paradigms to remember that we can be, if not heroes, at least decent persons. Anyhow, people tend to forget that Odysseus sucumbed to carnal pleasures and was unfaithful to Penelope. Then again, people like to hear about the good things, and try to reflect themselves only in those positive aspects.
If we write and talk about ourselves considering all the things we really do, we will be more human, whatever that means.