Growing up on a farm, our family was overly large (numbers, not mass), my parents were blue-collar workers and there wasn’t a lot of money for things like going to the movies or taking the kids to Disney Land. So the entertainment on Friday night at our house was homemade fudge, popcorn, and movies like “The Monster From The Black Lagoon”, “Dracula”, and of course “The Mummy”.
For the other six days it was Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The one made me scared to go to bed; the other beckoned me to become the hero that slew them all.
From literature to film, from history to modern-day viral feeds, we are bombarded with the opinions and belief systems of others. Many of us grew up being influenced by folklore, mythology, religion and philosophy as the interpreters of cultural events both past, present and future.
And more recently we’ve added; YouTube, reality TV, news casters and biased journalism – all of whom report on the world through the lens and paradigm of whatever corporate monolith is footing the bill.
It’s interesting to look back on our lives and trace our actions to our thoughts, our thoughts to what we’ve been taught and what we’ve been taught to the cultural media we took it from. How many of us believe what we believe, not because we came to these conclusions through our own personal journey of seeking, knocking and finding, but through vicariously absorbing what we’ve seen, read or heard from other‘s?
When someone told us that the wall was white, did we just nod our heads in all the right places and accept that it must be so, or did we say, “Hey! Wait a minute. I’ve got a pocket knife here, so let’s scrap some of this paint off and see if the wall really is white.”
I’ve discovered over the years, that the real monsters are not the ones hiding under my bed, or the big screen, or internet browser of my lap top. It’s not loud mouth reality stars or biased new casters, political leaders or even the disturbing legislation of whatever current leadership is trying to rob us of our rights under the guise of keeping the citizens of our wonderful nation healthy and safe.
No the real monster is the one in my own head that tells me not to ask whether the things I believe are true, or question why I even believe them in the first place. It’s all those little voices denying the need to be willing to have my mind changed – screaming that even admitting such a thing is too frightening to consider.
Real monsters live within ourselves, and they need to be slain every day of our lives; because let’s face it, the true hero’s in our story are the ones who aren’t afraid to look a monster in the eye and yell ‘Boo’!
What monsters did you grow up with that needed slaying?