I wanted to start this post with an interesting fact about me that not a lot of people know initially – I am an introvert who loves archetypes.
One of the main reasons I love archetypes, is that I have found in life, people generally want to simplify the world and everything within it in order to live their lives in a way that makes sense for them. And it does make logical sense to view life through a particular lens because there is just way too much going on in order to process it all simultaneously. Archetypes allow us to classify behaviours, characteristics of things, collective thought (sometimes called common sense), which I will come back to in a bit, and symbols or motifs.
Because I am an introvert, I have worked really hard at building an identity for myself that allows me to connect with others in both my personal and professional relationships even though I am much more comfortable on my own, and gasp, even enjoy it!
You see, our brains are wired to accept information, and then we perceive, understand, and judge that information based on our existing personal experiences with objects, ideas, places, and people. And so the concept of archetypes gets even more interesting when you consider the theoretical construct of motivation.
The mental framework of the human mind is unique to each person – our neural networks develop differently based on how we live our lives. I’ve personally found that the quickest way to connect with someone new or whom I have not developed a short hand dialogue with is to think about what people do in movies and employ that behaviour or alternatively to reference a film during a conversation that makes sense within the context of the interaction.
Movies are one of our favourite forms of storytelling in the 21st century. I truly believe that they serve as a primary method of getting narrative out there, whether it is for archiving culture, providing entertainment, instilling values, or simply for instruction.
And so because I am not a “natural” at small talk and have taught myself to adjust my behaviour in order to connect with others through a creative outlet that I am already invested in, movies have become a method that simply works for me.
I would hazard a guess that many of you have heard the expression, “common sense is not so common”, dear readers, and the truth is, that the common sense we individually understand is always rooted in culture! Let me elaborate, whether the culture we look at is the country, the city, the neighbourhood or the family we live in, what is implicit for me as common sense might not jive for you. See the below video for more insight into why common sense doesn’t always give us the right course of action to take (you can probably stop watching around the 5:40 mark, but by all means watch the whole video if you dig it).
Having gone over all of these ideas now, albeit briefly, that doesn’t mean that I think that there is no inherent value learning about the world and that we should start giving no attention to social cues.
Instead, lets circle back to archetypes!
Films are often spoken highly of because there are “universal” concepts used in them. And when we start to focus on a few key concepts in a film, we often decide to classify that film as a genre or sub genre, whether it is romantic, history, comedy, musical, etc. You get the picture I am painting.
What I personally find exciting about films is that they allow us to pick up social cues really quickly because actors observe behaviour and emotionally invest themselves into the mindset of the characters they portray. Ipso facto, we can learn how to behave by watching movies. Further to this end, I believe we can learn what motivates people by learning about what movies they like, and I also believe that we can become more empathetic if we invest our time in watching movies that we may not initially gravitate to.
I am going to get into the value of watching movies some more in the future, but you have something to chew on, so let me know what you think, and these are all the theories I have for now.