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“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
When I was a theatre student, I read several George Bernard Shaw plays. I loved his ideas. They aren’t very stagable, because there isn’t much action. They would make great novels because they are full of wonderful ideas that are different than conventional wisdom. My Fair Lady is based on Shaw’s play Pygmalion. It’s interesting that that particular play should come to my mind, because it’s a story that illustrates my mission.
Professor Henry Higgins is an intellectual genius, but he’s almost devoid of emotional intelligence. He thinks everyone should conform to the way he sees the world. He is particularly dismissive of women. Eliza, a street girl who becomes his student, understands human frailty and warmth much better than Henry does. The only good thing he does for her is to teach her how to speak properly, which helps her elevate herself on the social ladder. He’s a person who does not want to change his mind, whereas Eliza desperately wants to expand herself in everyway possible, and she does. In Pygmalion, Eliza does not go back to Higgins at the end of the play, she marries Freddie. I always assumed that she marries Freddie because he treats her with love and respect, even though he knows she’s from a lower class than his own. And, as I always do, I imagine that after the end of Shaw’s play, Eliza eventually comes to love and appreciate Freddie. Not only that, she helps him find meaningful occupations which help support the family, but also suit his upper class position.
Over the last few years my mission has become more clear, we need to pay more attention to our emotions than to our mental intellect. In my opinion, that’s the direction education should be going in. What good is going to Mars, or exploring space if we can’t get along with each other and in fact have leaders who threaten to blow the planet up? Only people who are emotionally intelligent have the opportunity to listen and learn from those who are on the opposite political, religious, and cultural spectrum from themselves.
Stories are one way we can learn to become emotionally intelligent because they take us on emotional journeys. We get to walk in the shoes of the characters, analyze their actions, and decisions. We get to see the outcomes of the choices they make and compare them to the choices we might make if we were in similar situations.
The other day I saw a quirky movie titled, Miss Meadows, (2014) staring Katie Holmes and James Badge Dale, about a young woman who is a substitute elementary teacher. She is also a vigilante. She is so kind, supportive, and protective of her students, but she’s not above killing people who are obvious threats to her children, or society at large. Oddly enough she falls in love with a sheriff in her town, who figures out that she’s the vigilante they’ve been seeking. We get to find out why Miss Meadows is adamant about killing people who threaten her students, or the members of her community and it’s a tragic story.
Now, I would never become a vigilante, but I could understand Miss Meadows motivation. The world can be a scary place, especially for children. So her need to protect them when she can resonates with me. She, of course, is a deeply wounded person who needs therapy desperately. In a perfect world, she’d get it and heal from her childhood trauma. But as of this moment, we don’t live in a perfect world and so Miss Meadows copes the best she can.
I wrote all of that to give you a glimpse into the reason I created my course, Saving the World One Story at a Time on Ûdemy. I’m including the trailer for my course here in case you might choose to take it, or share it with others. Here’s the link. https://www.udemy.com/course/saving-the-world-one-story-at-a-time/?referralCode=3F95529C1D400C795737
No matter what you decide, consuming stories gives us a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes and learn something new about what it means to be a human being.
My hope is that you have a wonderful and restful weekend and maybe read, watch, or listen to stories and learn something new.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2023
The Space Between Time
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, after the last few years, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a podcast where she and her guests discuss their creative endeavors, and/or the stories that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.
I’m so passionate about stories that I created the Story-Power podcast and Patreon communities so I’d have an excuse to talk story with other story lovers. If you’re passionate about stories too, and want to talk about what you’ve learned from your favorites, come join me at patreon.com/StoryPower.
If you are a podcaster, or have a message or fantastic product you want to share with the world, I encourage you to check out PodMatch. Use the affiliate link and tell them, Lucinda sent you. Then contact me so we can set up a Story-Power chat.