The End of the World: A New “Once Upon a Time”?

Once upon a time, the world was young again. What was, was gone. What would be, had only begun. Humanity was thrust once more into the ether of possibility, of mere promise, leaving them only with hope and their ingenuity when everything else was washed away.

I’ve always loved the phrase “once upon a time.” As a child, it took me to worlds of possibility and fancy, where everything and anything was possible. Could a handsome prince come and sweep you away? Sure. Could you make friends with a fairy or redeem an ogre? Not a problem.

Unfortunately, “once upon a time” is now considered trite, cliché, not as important as it once was.  At least, not unless you’re writing children’s stories, and even then, I doubt it’s in favour. And yet, isn’t it even more important?

Each day we become more and more immersed in a regimented world where everything has a rule or law. Indeed, this is how we explain and understand our world – and it has undoubtedly created many advances and wonders, like modern medicine, longer life expectancies, the availability of clean water and healthy food – but it also limits the possibilities. As a parent, tales of princesses are considered trite and anti-feminist: surely we should tell our children that there aren’t enough princes to go around, and really, who needs one anyway? Fairies and ogres: foolish nonsense.

But if the end of the world comes, while there is obviously a darker side, once more we could be thrust into the world of “once upon a time.” We can choose a new path, create new possibilities – perhaps be freed from some of our rules, or discover their fallacy. Because most importantly, “once upon a time” is imbued with hope and possibility, and if times are dark, that may be equally as important as food and shelter.

So, what do you think? Love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

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