A Jedi. A Mockingjay. A Wizard. A superhero. Who are you?

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Star Wars. Star Trek. The Hunger Games. The Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter. Superheroes. Why is it that we’re attracted to such epic stories? Why do we rewatch and reread our favorite tales? Surely any Star Wars fan realizes that the Empire created a galaxy that was unfairly ruled. Surely fans of The Hunger Games recognize that President Snow is a dictator and the districts are treated unfairly. Surely Sauron and Voldemort are seen as villains, right? Why do we read these books and watch these films over and over? What’s the point of having knowledge of these stories if we don’t take what we’ve learned and apply it to our lives? We can reread and rewatch all we want, but who is that helping? Are we simply using our favorite tales as an escape?

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On some deeper level, we’ve connected to these stories. We’ve rooted for the underdog, for those facing adversity. We’ve immersed ourselves into these worlds, but it’s time to acknowledge the world we currently live in. Isn’t it time to apply what we’ve learned to the world around us? If we want to prevent all the horrors rebels fought against (poverty, inequality, prejudices, and so forth), why aren’t we using what we’ve learned from these stories? Why can’t we make the world a better place now? The thought of wielding a wand, bow, phaser, or lightsaber is exciting, but we already have weapons we can use. Our voices. Our votes. In order to prevent Emperor Palaptine or President Snow from leading our country and the world into total chaos, shouldn’t we be applying the knowledge we’ve learned to prevent things like this from happening?

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If we want a progressive, Star Trek future, its time to work toward it. While we sit and dream about better futures, the world keeps spinning and we miss our chance. If we want to change the world, now is the time to understand the morals and meanings of our favorite films and books. What are these stories trying to tell us? Don’t be a villain. Don’t give in to greed and hatred. Stand up for acceptance and love. Stand against prejudice and hate. Sacrifice yourself, money, and time for a greater cause. We write our own stories each day. Will you be rooted for or rooted against? We’re all flawed, but we can still be heroes. Make sure your story is worth reading.

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