Posted by: Phil Anderson | June 29, 2015

An Existential Fairy Tale


Once upon a time there were some storybook characters. They were created by an author who had plotted out a beautiful story for them. This story had scenes both happy and sad, with epic conflict and dramatic resolution. The author had planned for each character to fulfill a specific purpose and have a meaningful character arc, and in the end they were all supposed to live happily ever after.

However, the characters did not want to follow the story that had been plotted out for them. They wanted to make their own story. And the author, because he was very good, allowed them to do that.

So the characters ignored the author’s outline and created their own stories. Theirs had scenes both happy and sad, with epic conflict and dramatic resolution. But without the structure the author had planned, their stories ended without accomplishing any specific purpose. Their character arcs were erratic, or unsatisfying, or sometimes just flat and meaningless. And in the end, they did not live happily ever after.


Has this ever happened to you? Comments, questions, and interpretation are all welcome. Leave your feedback below.


  1. […] Last week I shared a parable about storybook characters who didn’t want to follow the outline their creator had set out for them. In choosing their own path and destiny, they missed out on the “happily ever after” they should have had. […]

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