Warning. This post is bound to offend, irritate, or piss off certain readers, especially those who take the Bible, the Quran, or whatever other holy books they believe in seriously or literally. So if you are such a person, you may wish to exit this post now.
I’ve always enjoyed reading and studying mythology and the stories of heroic and legendary characters. But as entertaining as they may be, I’ve never, as a very pragmatic individual, put much credence into these tales. That’s because they are, plain and simple, folklore.
Folklore is essentially traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed down through the generations, first by word of mouth and later by the written/printed word.
Like folklore, fables are generally short tales designed to teach a moral lesson, often with animals as characters.
A legend is a type of folklore, but it typically features human actions, rather than animals, and is perceived to have taken place within human history. It’s typically a non-historical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times that is often popularly accepted as historical.
And that brings us to myths, which are stories concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
Perhaps it’s because of my aforementioned pragmatism, my logic, and my reason, that I can’t quite grasp how so many people in the 21st century truly believe as real the folklore, myths, fables, and legends contained in their holy books and are willing to fight and maybe even die to defend their own versions of these myths and legends as being the only ones to be believed.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people just appreciated their myths, fables, and legends for the folklore that they are. Believe whatever you want, but don’t use your myths as a weapon against those whose myths may be different from yours.
This irreligious rant was written for yesterday’s Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “legend.” Sorry, I’m a day late, but my tour guide duties continue to keep me away from my blog.