In this episode we explore stories across media, entertainment, personal experiences and more to answer the question: what stories have value and what is it about some stories that engages us more deeply than other stories? Our theory is that a story will impact and resonate with us to the degree that it contains truth, which is why some dark and oppressive stories are so popular – they are laced with enough truth to effectively deliver a payload of

Our conversation through this episode travels through an examination of popular TV shows, movies, books, games, and other cultural focal points where ideas are being served and we are buying them. Are we consuming more than we should because we crave the vicarious experiences that we have through the characters that we get attached to? Are we self-medicating a placebo experience through entertainment because our own experiences seem dull by comparison. And why is that?

We also stumble on some interesting insights along the way.

  • Movies, shows, books, and games give us the characters entire experience in a tight, relatively brief, consumable timeframe.
  • By comparison we have to have a top-down view on our own life or we will miss the important of what we typically think of as the mundane daily grind. But that daily journey is what makes every high point in our lives possible.
  • More and more “heroes” and lead characters are portraying PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) behavior that governs their actions and relationships. The things they go through (that we consume and watch) induce a mild, subtle, and latent PTSD in us.
  • The frequency and saturation of apocalypse / end of the world / global disaster / fall of mankind as a species type entertainment has reached a massive level compared to 20 or even 10 years ago.
  • Because of violence desensitization, what happens when real violence erupts in front of us? Will we react rightly when we’ve been so frequently trained to act like passive spectators?

Some of the examples mentioned that we examine include:

  • The Matrix
  • The Office
  • The 100
  • Defiance
  • The Walking Dead
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Doomsday Preppers
  • The Last of Us

At the end we reach an amazing conclusion: there is a counterfeit “happy ending” packaged in nearly all entertainment that is wrapped in a veneer of truth that is designed to prevent us from living in the complete truth of Messiah’s complete redemption. Three things stand out:

  1. We need to LIVE Stories Worth Telling and the true value in our lives is what we’d want to be known for at our funeral.
  2. We need to APPRECIATE the story that we are living out from the top-down vantage point to have correct expectations on our life. For example, remembering that when we read about decades of a Biblical heroes’ life (such as Moses) in just couple pages there were millions of little and mundane moments that went into all of that.
  3. We need to WALK THROUGH hard things and not avoid them because its worth it – challenge and pain produce a growth result that we could not attain any other way.