When you were a child, did anyone ever read you a bedtime story?
Many people experienced it as a nightly ritual. You’d get into your pajamas, settle in under the covers, and let your imagination be carried away to a whole new place.
The magic of bedtime stories is that they plant visions in the young mind that is receiving them. Visions of how things “once upon a time” were, or how things could be in a time “far far away”. Visions of what it means to be good (and bad), of what the best course of action is in certain situations, of what people are capable of dreaming of, overcoming, and achieving.
But the power of these kinds of stories, the reason why they have such a tremendous and lasting impact on us and do so much to shape our understanding of the world and human nature, is that they present these visions as real. As actually, actively happening.
Stories aren’t maybes. They aren’t what-ifs. They ARE: present tense. The mind processes that kind of...