Every time, without fail, during finals I have this two weeks of total panic. It's not necessarily panic about projects and papers, at least not explicitly. In fact, it's obviously about that but that's not what I focus it on. Rather, I feel panicked that I'm totally wasting my life. I mean, learning about Hell is fun, for sure, but what does it really matter? That is, who does it help? It doesn't cure cancer. It's not building better cities. It doesn't even make lots of money.
So what I am doing? Enjoying myself, sure. Making myself feel less freakish and alone. And, eventually, maybe I'll be able to teach some of this to other people and make them love it. But that does seem minor, doesn't it?
Then, of course, Plato comes to my rescue. In my Greek class, we were reading a little selection adapted from the Republic. Socrates says, "And thus, my dear Glaucon, the story is saved and it will save us if we believe it."
And just there, I remembered why I care about these sorts of things. Stories save us. Whether you buy into eternal salvation or just a humanist approach, stories are at the core. The stories we read, the stories we hear, the stories we create. All of it is story. And there are people who hold onto these stories. And I want to be one of them.