Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Would Bond Do?

James Bond, copyright Metro Goldwyn Meyer
We come into this world with very limited social skills.  We can smile or cry, but just about everything else has to be learned. In our early years, we are shaped by our parents and close family, but we soon start assimilating characters from the wider culture as our role models.

When we read stories about fictional heroes or watch great movies or television shows, we unconsciously identify with certain characters and the dialog and action in the story can be a rehearsal for similar situations in real life.

We may not realize it, but we often ask ourselves "What would James Bond do in this situation?" Or Harry Potter, or Hermione Granger, or Buffy Summers or Katniss Everdeen. "What would they do in this situation?"

If the stories we read serve as a rehearsal for real life, it follows that those who read and watch a wider variety of stories have more practice navigating a complex social society. That is why it is important to include heroic fiction and biographies in our reading and viewing list.

My fictional heroes have usually been people who are smart, good with technology (or magic), and often work behind the scenes to make the world (or the universe) a better place; Will Robinson, Merlin (the T.H. White and Mary Stewart versions), Spock, Data, Willow Rosenberg, Hermione Granger, The Doctor and James Bond. Bond doesn't exactly fit the pattern, but it is important to do the tech thing with a little bit of style and flair.

Who are your heroes?

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