Do Stories Matter?

For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to make sense of our world. The horrors inflicted on nations, people and children. The streams of refugees that are paraded across my screen, and then the horrific attacks in Paris and Beirut. 

Not only does it make me question where we as human race are headed but it also makes me question my own path. Here I am sitting behind my computer happily making up stories. Sure some are stories of people struggling, or people living in war time, or teens using psychic powers to find missing parents, but still, I’m just here making up stories. 

What value does that bring to the world? Shouldn’t I be out there physically helping those in need? Nursing the sick, or building bridges, or raising money?

By chance I came across this quote from Stan Lee, comicbook (he prefers it as one word) writer that put it in perspective for me.

I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people's lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you're able to entertain people, you're doing a good thing.
STAN LEE, The Washington Post, July 23, 2010”

Perhaps writing stories is not such a bad thing. Perhaps that is helping others in some small way. I know books were alway a place where I found solace as a child, and even now, a good book can change my mood. So … maybe I am helping, just a little.