We move through a storied world as living stories. Every human life is an autogenerated tale of meaning — we string the chance-events of our lives into a sensical and coherent narrative of who and what we are, then make that narrative the psychological pillar of our identity.
To study the way we read is to study the way the mind works: the way it evaluates a statement for truth, the way it behaves in relation to another mind (i.e., the writer’s) across space and time… The part of the mind that reads a story is also the part that reads the world; it can deceive us, but it can also be trained to accuracy; it can fall into disuse and make us more susceptible to lazy, violent, materialistic forces, but it can also be urged back to life, transforming us into more active, curious, alert readers of reality.
That last sentence above is quite poignant for the paradoxical times we are living within. So much change is occurring that it’s causing people discomfort, thus they want to deny the reality before them, like someone grieving the loss of someone but in this case it’s their own way of life that is being lost.
Yet at the same time, this epic challenge is causing some people to re-examine their lives, what they believe, and the way they do things. In effect, they are re-examining their identity. And in doing so, they are questioning and questing towards a newer narrative that will redefine their life and identity as a whole. This is more commonly known as post-traumatic growth.