Friday, September 26, 2014

was that a parable, or a very subtle joke?

Once there was a group of people who loved the story of Sleeping Beauty. They loved the characters — the beautiful princess, the handsome prince, the thoughtful and protective fairies. They feared the bad fairy and were awed by the power of magic and healing power of love. Over the years, other versions of the story were told and some of the variations became part of the story, including the introduction of the evil Maleficent and the once-nameless princess now called Aurora. But the story was still beloved and revered by many and the number continued to grow.

At the same time, there was another group of people who felt very deeply about the story of Cinderella. They held the tale's characters in high regard — the poor, mistreated princess, her nasty step-sisters and her awful step-mother. They marveled at the transformation of pure, sweet Cinderella, through the magic of her fairy godmother. Again, the story was told and retold and embellished in a "whisper down the lane" effect, with many sources adding to and expanding the core story. 

The two groups — The Beauties and The Cinders — each felt that their story was the definitive story, proclaiming it "the greatest story ever told." They tried to convince their adversaries of the importance of their story and the frivolity of the other. When each side grew tired of reasoning, they turned to insults and ridicule. Soon the ridicule turned to violence and violence, of course, brought loss of life.

Two groups of people — people similar in function, ability and biological formation — had a difference of opinion over which made-up story was better. This resulted in intolerance, hatred and, eventually, violence.

Aren't we better than that?

1 comment:

  1. Obviously not. I'm completely with the Cinderella backers, but I haven't bombed anyone yet over their Sleeping Beauty ignorance and prejudice.