What Stories Are Most Important To You?

Throughout our lives, we are constantly surround by stories of one kind or another. Which ones matter most to you?

Stories come in many different kinds. Some are personal, some are entertainment, and some are societal.

For example of a personal story, we have the those we tell ourselves about ourselves. You might, for example, tell everyone, including yourself, that you are always on time. As a result, you become known as the punctual one of your group. Or you always have the latest gadget, or maybe the cleanest house.

Whatever you tell yourself (and carry through on) you can manifest and make real. You define yourself through the stories you tell about yourself.

We also have access to more entertainment options than ever before. From movies to TV shows, from video games to novels, from sports to social media, we have a never-ending stream of tales told by all kinds of people. They might shock you, make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings, or open your eyes to other points of view.

Finally, we come to societal stories. These are things we tell each other that help us function in tandem. We cooperate because we hear a story and believe it.

For example, why do you pay your taxes? Perhaps you believe the story that our pooled resources makes our community stronger and benefits everyone. Or maybe you just believe the story that you will face a penalty if you don’t.

There are many stories, in all aspects of your life. Which ones mean the most to you? Are there some you never question? Might there be a benefit, or a penalty, to doing so?

Related questions: What are the benefits of fiction? Where do shared ideas exist? What makes a community? What makes you you?

Do You Follow The Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule — treat others as you wish to be treated — is a sentiment common in cultures and religions across the world. Do you follow it?

The idea is a simple one, easily stated, and easily understood. And yet, it can be very difficult to practice.

There are many reasons why you might not follow the Golden Rule. They might vary from self-interest, fear, or even kindness.

For instance, you might well think that you want someone to come to your aid if you are in trouble. However, fear might prevent you from helping someone else in a dangerous situation.

In another situation, you might tell a small lie to spare the feelings of someone you love, even if you think you would want the truth in return.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘Are we too busy?’


In our state and national politics, we see the Golden Rule violated frequently. One elected official, for example, may vote against offering aid to another state in a disaster, and yet accepts the helping hand when the disaster befalls them. No doubt you can think of numerous other examples.

There are endless opportunities to treat others the way you wish to be treated. In fact, just about every interaction with someone else is such a chance. It might be face-to-face, online, or from hundreds or thousands of miles away. It might include actions, speech, or even thoughts about someone else.

Can you think of notable examples where you followed the Golden Rule? Are there times when you didn’t?

Related questions: How do you serve others? What expectations do you have of others? How do other people motivate you? Why does social media often bring out the worst in us? Why do we hate?

Truth Or Beauty?

Many individuals have pondered the ideas of truth and beauty, and some have even gone so far as to suggest that they are the same. What do you think?

Share why if you wish.

Truth Or Beauty?

Why Do We Sleep?

Sleep is one activity that everyone engages in every night, and yet it remains something of a mystery. Do you have any theories on why it is we sleep?

It is obvious that our sleep schedule is tied to the day/night pattern. It certainly isn’t a coincidence that due to the earth’s rotation, it is dark every night, and we sleep every night.

Moreover, it seems pretty clear that sleep is the product of evolutionary pressures. Our very distant ancestors gained some advantage from being asleep every night that allowed them to survive, and possibly even to thrive.

However, we don’t know what that advantage is.

One possibility is that our senses leave us at a disadvantage to other predators in the dark. Our eyes do not allow us to see as well in the nighttime, nor do our ears hear so well as to make up the difference, compared to some of our animal competitors. Therefore, a survival mechanism is to keep humans inactive during the time when they are disadvantaged — at night — and concentrate their efforts in the daytime.

But why didn’t the eyes or ears evolve to be more sensitive? Other animals did, so why the difference in humans?

Another possibility is that our larger brains required more organization, and processing of information. For humans, this happens during the sleep cycle, in particular during REM sleep. This, in turn, requires long stretches of uninterrupted sleep, and that is easier at night with fewer distractions.

These are just two examples of possible explanations. Do you know of any others, or have a pet theory? In your opinion, why do we sleep?

Related questions: How many hours of sleep do you need? Do you have trouble sleeping? Early bird or night owl?

Cynicism Or Idealism?

Which do you think is more likely to change the world, cynicism or idealism? Which is more likely to keep you safe? Which one describes you?

Share why if you wish.

Cynicism Or Idealism?