Reality is harsh. Sometimes there are no happy endings. Sometimes suffering is unavoidable. The best we as humans can do is make the best out of the hand we are dealt in life. That is sound advice and has a nice ring to it. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade… or throw them at people who say things like, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade – but that is a whole other post. All I can say about that is you never know how deep someone’s suffering is, how much they hurt, how affected they are or even what is really going on so telling others who are having a rough time to ‘make the best of it’ is not as helpful as it seems to the outsider.
Why am I bringing up the cold, hard truth about life today? Well, I wasn’t wallowing in misery or anything like that. I was actually thinking about the plot of a story I was working on. In the plot, things are fine and then something terrible happens, things look bleak and then just like that – with some more fortuitous turns of events and actions by the main characters, things turn around and it all works out. Sounds like the plot of most stories. This made me wonder about humanity.
Why does every story have to have something terrible happen? Why does there always have to be some not so pleasant turn of events? Why do we need the drama, the conflict, before we can have a satisfactory ending? Why does the human mind crave problems? Is it because deep down we need something to occupy our time? Is it because the human mind enjoys solving problems? Is it just a desire for adventure?
When writing a story, no one would ever consider just telling a tale with no ups and downs and ultimate resolution. It wouldn’t be very compelling or satisfying. It wouldn’t be exciting. Nobody would read it. But why is this? Why are people only interested in hearing or reading stories that have problems and the excitement of how it all works out in the end?