My mythology teacher in college always used to say, "There's nothing new under the sun."
What she meant was this: people are the same; life is the same; essentially, we never change. If she weren't right, we wouldn't be able to understand and identify with ancient writings.
Whether we're talking about Roman and Greek mythology, the Bible, or other ancient writings the people of today can identify with the people in myths and in other ancient writings like those of the Bible because we are the same in most ways.
We think, feel, love, hate, pray, get hungry, sleep, wish for a better life, take action to right wrongs, work at professions, love our children and make many of the same mistakes people have made for thousands of years.
In literature the same plots are used over and over again, but we never tire of reading them because we like certain types of stories.
Each mystery novel has a puzzle to be solved. Hints to the solution are peppered throughout the book, and in the end the solution is revealed.
Most good love stories feature a couple who is in conflict in the beginning, and, by the end, after overcoming tremendous obstacles, end up together--unless, of course, it's a Romeo and Juliet type of tragic love story. I guess they did end up together--just not alive and happy.
Soap opera types of dramas often feature secret babies, characters prone to get amnesia, and people thought to be dead turning up alive. Again, nothing new here. I doubt any drama has outdone the plot in the Oedipus Rex, written thousands of years ago by Sophocles. [A baby is left to die, he's rescued and raised by an adoptive parent (unknown to his birth family) and eventually ends up marrying his biological mother.]
Our technology changes; our homes aren't in caves anymore; we drive motorized vehicles instead of animal drawn ones. Yet in the hearts and souls of all of us, though each of us is unique, in many ways we're the same as the first people to live on the planet. We aspire to love and be loved, to be healthy and happy, to indulge in fulfilling work, to ease our own pain and suffering and that of others too.
And what is wrong with that?
Whatever you're reading, whether it was written this year or thousands of years ago, I hope it leaves you with a good feeling and lots of hope.
Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author
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