Stories open up your mind, give you a different perspective and put you in the shoes of others.
A closed mind is one that leads to a decay of the heart and a deadening of the spirit. Factions, hatred, misunderstandings, judgement and division follow.
It's one of the reasons I love that the Bible is full of stories – they are a window into God’s heart.
As an author I have come to see the power of stories and how they can move us emotionally – and despite cries to the contrary, we as humans are propelled forward by our emotions and our subconscious however much we like to think the rational part of us is the captain of our ship.
Love flows from our emotional state – it is not a statement of will - that is a cold stark view of your innermost desires – it is not the poet’s or author’s view of life.
The reality that your brain presents to you is largely an illusion and those that want certainty, clear guidelines and principles may gain strength from such things but ultimately they are as much an illusion as the sounds you hear on what is a silent planet.
In a world full of diversity therefore we should not weaponise our love to pull down those around us who do not experience things as we do – we need to enter into their stories and look for their heartbeat beyond the thin veneer of our senses and rational constructs.
At different times in our history we lose sight of people’s stories and choose hatred and condemnation instead. Slavery, womans' rights, racial segregation, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people are measured as if they are numbers in a ledger of what we see as right and wrong.
Let’s seek instead to enter into their stories and open up our imaginations and allow love to flow from deep within.