Why Morals Bore Me

Today I realized that I’m not a huge fan of stories with morals.

Now, before you go ranting and raving, let me explain a little further. I was reading through some stories today, and while I loved the stories, there was always a part after the story that made a point. There was a little section that always seemed to say, “I learned that God desires for us to be like this experience,” or “Life is a lot like this encounter.”  (Actually, often times – strangely enough – our relationship with God would be compared to objects. Like “I’ve learned that God is like this machete and we are like this coconut”). As I read I could not help, but be bored by these ‘moral sections’.

When I realized I was bored I felt guilty. I felt less Christian. I felt more inherently evil. “Why do I get bored by these sections?” I wondered.

Trying to discover an answer I took my focus off of the stories I have been reading and I asked myself, “What stories do I love, and why do I love them so much?”

For some reason ‘The Lord of the Rings’ came into my head. I pictured Frodo and Sam journeying across middle earth toward Mt. Doom to destroy the ring. I saw Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli hunting down the Orcs in order to find Merry and Pippin. I saw Gandalf riding to the rescue at Helm’s Deep. I saw the Gollum and Frodo battling at the edges of Mt. Doom for the Ring. I saw the ring destroyed and I saw middle earth saved. I saw the hobbits receive honor and then I saw them journey back home. I saw Sam get married and saw Frodo agonize over the deep scars the ring had left on his life. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a beautiful story to me. But why?

As I thought on this I realized why: interwoven throughout ‘The Lord of the Rings’ were ethics, morals, and truth. Good and evil battled, and people made decisions that moved to one end or the other. However, no one ever broke the story down at the end and said, “Our sin is like this ring” or “Gandalf is like Jesus”. The story simply was, and that made me wonder what it meant.

The other stories I read, however, seemed to have some anterior motive. They were more like sermons than stories. The story always lead to a ‘profound’ and ‘life-changing’ point. I believe that those points are needed as we go through life, but at times I’d much rather hear someone’s story as I strive to learn from it. I’d much rather like to draw my own conclusions from the depths of another’s experience.

Why? Because when I search stories for truth, I see the beauty of God more clearly for myself. It no longer is someone else’s point, but it becomes, rather, a part of my story.

Do you ever struggle hearing stories with morals?

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About Jeremiah Dowling

I write poetry and take crazy pictures in an Orange Chair all over the United States while reading amazing books.

2 responses to “Why Morals Bore Me”

  1. Mark Zellner says :

    Edgar Allen Poe HATED didactic literature. He even wrote a whole essay on how stories that have a “moral” are terrible, because stories should exist only for the sake of their own artistic expression. In fact I don’t like that type of story either, but oddly enough, most of my own stories ARE didactic.

    • thestorymovement says :

      haha… I was thinking how I write from that style often times too… I just never realized this whole idea until today and I was like… ‘That’s why I don’t like them mostly’… Though I must say I did some story telling with an African in Ghana, and his stories always had morals, but at the same moment were always captivating and beautiful… so yeah its interesting… Thanks for commenting bro!

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