An interesting story is not without tension or imbalance — a story without a wrinkle is merely a static scene. Challenge, confusion, tension, suspense, unpleasantness, turmoil — whatever you call it — is the foundation of every entertaining story.
In life, no one is provided a stress-free existence. Life is consistently filled with stressors, so much so, that it seems like a manufactured drama. But if life is a story, why isn’t it more pleasant, why not dial down the intensity so everyone has a good time?
Some potential reasons why life may be overly difficult despite being a manufactured tale:
– Perhaps this is the best the author could do while managing billions of intermingling lives.
– Perhaps the story is designed by committee and this is a compromise.
– Perhaps more people actually enjoy the higher intensity than not.
– Perhaps the higher intensity is necessary to maintain sufficient long-term interest.
– We love other people’s drama, maybe fairness dictates we have some of our own.
– How else could we relate to stress/suffering within a story except through direct experience.
– Not everyone can be the star, perhaps we take turns.
– Perhaps we’re not the intended audience, maybe we’re reality-show zoo animals.