“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe’s works, and most of them with great pleasure. The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again; I remember finishing it in two days—my hair standing on end the whole time.” ~ Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey
I’ve never understood, being a Fandom girl, how some people can be averse to stories. How they can get no pleasure in novels. Many a time I’ve received an upturned nose from such individuals who consider novels beneath their notice. They’re bookshelves are filled to the brim with “more important” works, ahem, self-help titles. Now, there is nothing wrong with self-help books. I’ve enjoyed plenty myself. But who are we to downgrade the help we receive in stories—the understanding we gain? Especially when Jesus taught in them—and God filled the Bible with them? If stories are beneath us, then why are we reading scriptures filled with them?
Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet:
“I will speak to you in parables.
I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.” ~ Matthew 13:34-35 (NLT)
Additionally, if stories are no use to growing and developing, then why do we try to shield our children from certain stories that have godless agendas? Why, as the stories we view on TV change morals, is our entire society going with them? Because stories build into our minds and hearts pre-programmed responses and behaviors. When we put into ourselves stories with characters that respond in Christ-like ways, we are putting in Christ-like software that will run the way we think, act, and speak. And the same is true for any stories we put into ourselves.
My generation, the millennials, is known for having a deep desire to fight for a cause. If you sell us something with a cause we believe in attached, we are gung ho. You could say, since we are also the generation who grew up as Potter was coming out, that we have a “saving people” thing. Could this Potter generation, who embraced the Boy Who Lived with such eagerness, have possibly put into itself a bit of Harry Potter? The way he acts, thinks, responds?
My opinion—Yes! My generation, among our weaknesses has a huge strength—we have a “saving people” thing. And not just people like ourselves, but even people (like Draco) who we don’t care for or agree with. Now, I’m not saying this is a blanket truth for all millennials, just a stereotypic characteristic of those of us who grew up Potter.
Don’t underestimate the power of stories—the power of Fandom. Like the Force, stories can be used to strengthen both the Good and the Bad inside of us. We can use them to become Jedi or Siths. It is our choice.
Which stories have become your software?