When I was young, Disney movies about beautiful princesses and knights in shining armor, who rescue the princesses from great evil-doers, were always in my VCR. My bookshelves were crammed with magical stories that began with “Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…” and always ended in the customary “Happily ever after.” My world wasn’t built on others beliefs or teachings, but possibilities.
I believe in fairy tales. That’s not to say that I think a fierce troll is currently lurking underneath the Graff Bridge in Kittanning, waiting to chow down on anyone foolish enough to attempt crossing. Nor have I ever seen a pair of glass slippers or, unfortunately, met my fairy god mother. Fairy tales show the wonder of possibility to all those who read them.
Possibility also means hope. When little girls are growing up, the ideas of Mr. Right sweeping them off their feet and happy endings no matter what obstacles stand in their way make them quixotically hopeful about the future. And, call me unrealistic, but I remain hopeful that happy endings do exist. I believe that no matter how bad things may become, someway or somehow they have to improve.
The potential possibilities given to us in fairy tales leave me in awe. Ogres, fairies, witches, werewolves, vampires, wizards, talking animals, even dragons all have to potential to exist. While I don’t think these things are frolicking through the forests at night or casting spells to save the world, the truth is, I don’t know. No proof has been given to show beyond a doubt, that fairy tales aren’t real. At the same time, none has been given to prove that they are real. The possibilities remain infinite.
Some of the older, more classical, fairy tales seem to have nearly disappeared from today’s culture. Not many people remember the story behind the Pied Piper or Rumpelstiltzkin, but a new era of fairy tales has begun paving the way for possibilities in the future.
Books and movies like The Harry Potter Series and The Twilight Saga have already affected society beyond a doubt. Modern fairy tales like these, make me believe that my generation and the generations to come will be the most accepting and open-minded, yet. By understanding that the unthinkable could exist, I hope that others will easily and willingly accept each other without question, prejudice, or judgment.
I believe in possibilities, in the hope that they spread, the thought they inspire, and the imaginations they spark. I believe in my generation and our potential to be great. But most of all… I believe in fairy tales.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.