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?

What Would You Write Songs About?

Songwriting is an unusual way for us to communicate with other human beings. If you were to write songs, what would you write about?

We are all familiar with listening to songs. We hear them on the radio, in movies or TV shows, on the Internet, and so on. We sing them to each other, and we might even sing in the shower, because the acoustics are so good!

And yet, despite being familiar with music, only a very few have much skill and experience in writing songs. The act of creating lyrics and music together to form a memorable, catchy tune is not easy, and it takes time and practice.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss a related question: ‘What does your favorite music say about you?’ We also discuss a bonus question as well, ‘Where does authority come from?’


Most communication is verbal, of course, although we also communicate non-verbally as well. Music, however, remains a unique way to communicate with our fellow humans. There is something special about music and how we react to hearing it. It can tap directly into our emotions in a way that everyday speech might not be able to easily do.

With that in mind, imagine for a moment that you are a songwriter. What, then, would you write about? Many songs deal with love, although there is no shortage of other topics as well.

What would you write songs about?

Related questions: Why does music evoke emotion? How does creative expression help us to know ourselves better? Music: Make or listen? Where do ideas come from?

How Important Is Closure?

When coming to grips with a sudden change in life, some people feel the need for closure in order to move on. But is it really necessary?

Life can change very quickly, in ways both trivial and profound. You might lose a job, there might be a death in the family, or an appliance you depend on may stop functioning.

When a change like this happens, a natural instinct is to look for some closure. That might mean, respectively, an exit interview, a memorial service, or a repairperson’s visit. Once the closure happens, you can move on with your life.

However, closure is not something that occurs in our lives. We are born into a world that is already in motion, and as we grow and learn, we have to get up to speed on the state of things (and pick up some history as well).

Even when we meet someone new, we come in the middle of their story. And if they drift away, as friends sometimes do, there isn’t usually any sort of meaningful end point.

There is little doubt, though, that as a species we crave the sense of narrative completion. We look for it in the movies we watch, the books we read, and in other media we consume. A disappointing finale can ruin an entire TV series.

So which is it? Is a sense of closure necessary to process the events of the day? Or is it irrelevant, just an artificial narrative we construct that has no inherent meaning?

How important is closure?

Related questions: Why are people afraid of death? What can you control? Scripted or unscripted? How do you find peace when you need it?

Kermit The Frog Or Mickey Mouse?

Of the children’s icons, which do you prefer, Kermit the Frog of the Muppets, or Mickey Mouse from Walt Disney? Is there a reason?

Share why if you wish.

Kermit The Frog Or Mickey Mouse?

Hero Or Villain?

Sometimes it seems like our society likes a good villain as much — or even more than — a hero. Do you like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker more? How about Hannibal Lector or Clarice Starling?

Share why if you wish.

Hero Or Villain?