A brilliant example of a Meta-Narrative is seen in the movie Forest Gump (an American drama film based on a novel with the same title by Winston Groom).
In this movie we are presented with an alternative narrative of how to achieve ‘the American Dream’. The American Dream is simply a Capitalist concept centred around achieving or finding wealth, love and happiness.
In contrast to ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, (a movie based on a true story starring Will Smith), where we see the classic values of the American Dream at play. This includes virtues like hard work, persistence, endurance, perseverance etc., at play; Forrest Gump presents a counter narrative.
In Forrest Gump we see a guy who was socially and intellectually challenged. However, these ‘challenges’ helps him as he navigates life naively and completely oblivious as to where his life choices will land him. And through a series of concentrated effort and chance events, he ends up fulfilling the American Dream.
Largely, most people will achieve the American Dream, or come close through the virtues we see demonstrated in In Pursuit of Happiness’. But like stories in the Bible, Forest Gump serves as an alternative meta-narrative.
These alternatives or counter narratives reminder us that there is no absolute formula, and that there are forces far greater than us at play in the complexities that life presents. Perhaps most importantly, they also teach us that while scripts are great, sometimes, we might need to improvise.
So, I present you with a third approach as we look forward to 2018 – find Meaning.
Meaning offers a completely different paradigm which draws on our conscious and subconscious elements. In this realm we harness our physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional capital in enhancing humanity.
Reachout | Revive | Recover