All the Stories are Giants: Why the Fourth Matters on the Fifth

The basic idea of mythology is that our lives are guided by stories.  When we zoom out on what we tell ourselves about our lives, there are “capital S” Stories that tell us how and why we are here.  A myth might be a true story that takes on greater meaning as it lives on through generations. Or it might be a story of speculation that becomes meaningful when we live like it’s true.

When we celebrate the Fourth of July, many of us are celebrating the big story of our country and how and why it’s here.  As we light sparklers and grill burgers and watch parades, we’re retelling and reliving a story about freedom and independence.  We’re remembering the giant story of how we came to throw fire up into these particular skies. And we’re passing this story along so it’s not forgotten.

But there are smaller stories we’re celebrating too.

In backyards all over the country, people are trying to recreate some version of their own youth for the sake of their children. This happens all year long but reaches a peak in summertime when every smell, or sight, or heatwave helps us time travel to when we were young.  All it takes is one whiff of chlorine to take us back to belly-flopping at the neighborhood pool while the songs of Janet Jackson play over the loudspeakers. (For my generation anyway.)  The light from one firefly can carry us farther back in time than any flux capacitor.  We remember who was there, how they made us feel, and what it was like to be free or not.  And something about those days tells us just as much about how and why we’re here as our American history.

As we make our way through this week, it’s worth wondering what myths we’re keeping alive.  It’s worth asking which stories we want to keep alive– whether they are the giant stories of our country or the small stories of our backyards.  We celebrate them on Tuesday but we live by them on Wednesday.  Might as well pay them some attention.

Rebel Pilgrim is a creative agency based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rebel Pilgrim believes that story is the only way to spark change and create excitement for any business or product. Start converting your uninterested crowds into engaged clients using the power of storytelling.