Writing Myths #4: Why we are born and die

Here’s my fourth myth entry. This one was tough for me because I couldn’t think of anything that I liked. I guess I’m losing confidence and questioning myself too much. I don’t think it’s good to be overly critical when creating something but it was hard to pause myself while writing. Anyways, here it is. It’s all myth after the topic statement.

Write a myth to explain why we are born and why we die.

My grandma used to tell me that life is about balance. Too much of any one thing is never good. I remember, when I was young, asking her why I’m here. Why do I exist? And she told me this tale.

Long ago there was a man called Wen who lived in a small, bustling village at the foot of a mountain. Everyone in the village worked to contribute to the its sustenance and maintenance, even the smallest child. Working was the most important thing and the villagers hardly took breaks except to eat and sleep. But Wen was a lazy man who did not see why he needed to work. If he did nothing, he would still survive. He could still eat and get whatever he wanted so why work when someone else is willing to do what needs to get done. He instead preferred to spend his time observing the bugs in the trees and listening to the flow of water in a nearby brook.

The villagers would always grumble about his antics and call him lazy since he spent most of his time prone in the fields, hardly moving. One day, an old man came shuffling into the village. He marveled at how busy the people are and asked why do they work so hard. They responded that it is their duty to make sure that their village thrives because it’s their community that protects them.

“If we do not maintain our community, how can we survive? Our community’s survival, and therefore working, is our sole purpose in life,” they told him. Of, course, they grumbled about Wen, the only one who doesn’t work but benefits from everyone’s labor.

The old man went over to Wen and asked why doesn’t he work and Wen asked why work when others are willing to do your work for you?

“I do not share my people’s sense of purpose in working. I’d much rather admire the world around me than work my days away. Maybe that’s my purpose,” replied Wen.

The old man realized that Wen wasn’t as lazy as the villagers claimed him to be but simply did not feel a calling, a desire, to work. And though hardworking, the villagers worked so much that they hardly enjoyed the benefits of their labor. This was an imbalance and the old man, who was a god in disguise, made a plan to right it.

He touched Wen and all the villagers, instilling in them a purpose. Then he declared that whenever someone is born, that person will be born to a purpose. It will not be clear what that purpose is because the person must work towards finding it; however, though it’s good to work hard towards one’s purpose, that purpose will be overlooked if one does not pause to admire their work and the world about them because all things contribute to one’s progress. Once a person attains their purpose, they will then pass on to be reborn with a new purpose.

And so it was and always is. And that, my boy, should answer your questions, said grandma.


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