More than a Story

Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.
                                                                                  –Joseph Campbell

Between meetings and mad dashes to the store to make sure my fridge is fully stocked for Thanksgiving, I was scanning news headlines when a New York Times article by David Brooks caught my eye.  The article about fighting the spiritual void struck a chord on many levels.  But, it was the Joseph Campbell quote that caused me to pause.  Myths inspire and instruct.  They can serve as a compass and create context for the human experience.

I’ve seen the power of such as a volunteer for the Chicago Architecture Center’s educational programs.  Our flagship program is a 90-minute journey covering Chicago’s history and architectural heritage.  On this tour, we step inside the restored entry of the London House hotel (formerly the London Guarantee Building) where we recite a variation of the ancient Athenian Oath inscribed above the doorway.

IMG_1100London House Rotunda, 85 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601

As we talk about the oath, students gain a sense of connection to a democracy thousands of years ago and what it means to be a citizen.  We build on this inspiration with a visit to Heald Square for a stellar view of iconic Chicago skyscrapers and to reflect upon the quote below the statue of George Washington, Robert Morris and Haym Solomon and the ideals of America.

By the end of the tour students are most impressed with how the buildings and places visited have a story to tell and there’s meaning behind them.  They may not realize it, but they are experiencing how stories and myths can connect us to our history and each other, and can serve to inspire, instruct and guide us.

As you sit down for Thanksgiving with family and friends, take some time to discuss and reflect upon the stories and myths that have shaped and informed your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lisa Ciota
Lead-IR Advisors, Inc.