A New Story Part I
I once had an epiphany in a public toilet.
I was in downtown Athens seeking relief for my belly full of bottled water when I came across a huge outdoor concert in one of the squares.
Some American Christian band was rocking out Protestant-style in a country where it is practically illegal to be anything but Greek Orthodox. Product in the hair, hands in the air and all that.
I ducked into a loo and found myself shoulder to shoulder at the urinal with a white-bearded man who was already midstream.
In Australia, you don't acknowledge fellow urinal users unless it is obvious that you are each very drunk. You might ask them if they're having a good night or something.
I should not have been surprised that in Greece, they get philosophical.
"There is no humanity in this," said the man, the music pulsing through the floor. "In the old days we had many gods, many stories. Much humanity. Now there is just one story. No humanity in this one."
Very unorthodox. Two shakes and he was out of there and I was left alone in contemplation.
I decided he was right.
In our culture, we really only have one story and we tell it to ourselves perpetually: Follow your heart and you will win.
If you include the many variations of the story that motivated the band that night, we also have this one: There is a chosen one who will save us all.
I don't think either story is working particularly well for us. I think we need different stories.
So I'm going to start digging up a few and sharing them here.
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