Wednesday, March 7, 2007
What Commonality Does American Idol Have With Jane Austen?
I enjoy watching people, trying to figure out their story and what makes them tick. I guess that is one reason I can get caught up in reality TV shows.
I started watching American Idol in season 5 and now I’m getting sucked into season 6. If I get to know a contestant, then I’m more likely to root for them. I like knowing that Chris S. and Phil are worship leaders in their churches and that Chris R. is from the same town as where my sister lives.
People are interesting subjects to watch. Put them in stressful situations and they’ll do just about anything. The best books and movies are those that put people through the wringer, and I’m always eager to see how their character will withstand the trial. Take the Pride and Prejudice novel where two people seemingly loathe each other at the start but through the trials in their story their view of life changes, resulting in a love bound for marriage.
Today I read an article titled “Those Who Read Fiction Better at Reading People.” (Read it here.) And it struck me that there is some interesting truth in this. I really do believe when we take time to get to know someone (real or fictional) through their story, we are better able to empathize with them.
But when we are hurrying through life and forget to stop and read the stories, we overlook that people have a reason for how they tick. It isn’t all about us and our needs when the grocery clerk is grouchy or the next-door neighbor doesn’t wave back.
As authors (and editors) we need to continually work on reading the stories that are all around us. As we learn to relate to people through their stories, our social and writing skills should naturally improve.
So whose story have you been reading or watching?
Photo still from A&E's Pride and Prejudice Miniseries Copyright 1995 (U.K.), 1996 (U.S.)by BBC/A&E Production
Editor Du Jour Becky