by Eric Santillan The other day, I attended my friends' daughter's first birthday. My godson is turning three this year. And my nephew will be born in a few months. Reading about the news on FB, Rappler and Google News, I cannot help but ask myself what kind of world we are bringing our children … Continue reading What Kind of Country Will Our Children Be Born Into?
I have yet to meet someone who did not enjoy a good story. Stories call to us, to the deepest part of ourselves where not even the blinding lights of the city and the deafening sounds of technology can penetrate. Even in the Philippines where the book sales are so low compared to the literate population (and where according to author Jessica Zafra authors are considered bestsellers if they can sell a mere 3000 books), there is great appreciation for a good story and for a story told well. The ability to tell stories, to capture a moment in lived experience or in one’s imagination and to be able to recreate it to another is something innately human. Everyone has a story and every story is precious. In fact, stories have their sacred place in the history of every culture all over the world.
The past few months, we were witnesses to protests and upheavals in the Middle East. As with all revolutions, its seeds were planted years ago when democracy was curtailed and dictators and the military took power. But the trigger for this series of upheavals can be traced back to Dec 17, 2010, when a young jobless graduate Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after police confiscated the fruit and vegetables he was selling from a street stall. He had been unemployed for a long time and when the police stopped him from earning a living, he burned himself out of frustration and in protest. This event sparked widespread demonstrations in Tunisia. The Tunisian President went on television days later to promise more jobs. But it was too little too late.
Roland Barthes, in his book Mythologies, said that a myth is a type of speech. It is a message. So that “everything can be a myth provided it is conveyed by discourse”. The Psychologist Carl Jung, on the other hand, connected myths to what he called “archetypes”. Archetypes are “preconcious psychic disposition that enables a man to react in a human manner”.