Figures in history and literature can have a great resonance with who we think we are and who we wish to be (and not be!).
I was reading one of my old favorites, The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien, and it occurred to me that we can find many of the different characters within ourselves. For instance, oftentimes we feel great burdens, great power, the desire to study history (lore), or fight for a cause. How do we handle these? Sometimes it can help to look to literature for assistance:
- Look to Frodo and Sam when you feel burdened… It will help you realize the value of friendship and purpose.
- Look to Gandalf when you feel powerful… It will help you realize the value of wisdom.
- Also look to Saruman, for that will help you realize the danger of relying on it to serve selfish purposes.
- Look to Gimli and Legolas when you feel angry with someone… It will help you realize that even bitter enemies can become the closest friends: Race and discrimination can be overcome!
Look to The Lady Eowyn when you feel threatened or helpless… It will help you realize that there is strength to be found in unexpected places: Both from allies abroad, and within yourself.
I’m sure there are others that could reflect important states of being in instructive ways… I’m interested to hear others’ thoughts:
- What characters in literature resonate?
- How can they teach us to live better lives in our own worlds?
[image courtesy of Flickr: The Lady Eowyn ]
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