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The fairy-tale is plain, clear and translucent and a refreshment, like the air.
– Adalbert Stifter –
Long, long ago, maybe it happened yesterday, maybe it happened today, …
Thoughts on fairy-tales
Certainly, there are lots of reasons to be excited about fairy-tales. They can awaken the child in us. They are downright smart, entertaining, and imaginative. And although these stories might be ancient, yet they still have so much to tell us.
They do this through their simple, but keen and striking wisdom. Fairy-tales tell us about important phases in the lives of heroines and heroes. The protagonists may be a naive and silly homebody, or a beautiful, rich princess, they may be a poor and simple shepherd, or just an innocent girl like Little-Red-Riding-Hood:
In fairy tales, we can identify with these archetypes. This is an imaginative way to deal with different life journeys, with different possibilities of life.
These journeys often bring about renewal: In one story, the old king is sick and frail. Only the Water of Life can help. So he sends out his three sons to go and find it. It becomes clear that it is necessary to bring new inspiration to something old. Other stories challenge their protagonists with harsh truths about life. Just think of »Hänsel and Gretel« or the girl in the old Austrian fairy-tale »Zistl im Körbl«. The heroine‘s parents die and all the money is gone – what can she do? Still other stories will send their heroes on the quest for meaning while we, the listeners, learn important wisdom about how to deal with these fundamental questions and predicaments.
In the end, all heroines and heroes go off to find their luck in life. What else is life all about?
Fairy-tale heroes may be women or men, rich or poor, strong or weak, but they are never contemplators. Their character is revealed through their actions – they are doers, rather than thinkers. They deal with things. Sometimes they face enormous challenges, but they never give up. That‘s why these stories are great sources of strength.
They encourage us to follow our hearts and to believe in the ability to succeed against all odds. But it is also important to be open for inspirations and to communicate with the helping hands around.
For hundreds of years people have been telling these stories – not because of nostalgia. These stories are told because they are great thinking tools for personal development. Isn’t it wonderful to have such imaginative tools?