I have had a story in my head. More of a passing thought or concept actually. The basic idea is that there are dragons in our lives. Not the real kind, no fire breathing dragons exist in our world. But dragons exist… the people kind of dragons. Those individuals who seem to take great joy in inflicting harm or pain on others. Some dragons do it unintentionally. Either way we feel toasty and burnt after an interaction with these aggressive individuals.
The story goes like this: A young woman living her life notices there are an awful lot of dragons about. These fire breathing dragons are always hurting people. They storm through towns and wreak havoc. Destruction and mayhem; people burnt crispy, fair maidens sacrificed, and of course knights cooked alive in their shiny armor like that aluminum pan style popcorn you cook on the stove … you know typical dragon stuff.
Well the heroine, being quite smart and observant, notices that these dragons are actually each harboring an injury, a large thorn embedded deeply and painfully into the flesh. The thorns are in different places of course and the dragon acts out depending on the location of their particular wound. For example, a dragon with a thorn in his foot will go out of his way to step on people. Another dragon has a large prickly barb under the scales that protect her heart and so likes to break up young lovers by gobbling up one or the other.
The thing is, this young woman learns to avoid the dragons, she understands them in some ways, so can feel a miniscule amount of sympathy, yet she doesn’t feel the need to rescue anyone. Imagine that! A woman not hell bent on rescuing others at the risk of her own life. Well, I did say she was intelligent, didn’t I? No, instead of trying to protect her fellow townsfolk or sacrifice herself and her life for their benefit, she simply starts pointing out the thorns. She knows it is not her job to save others or even to advocate for the beasts. Nope. She simply points out the problem. That is her job. End of story.
There isn’t a “happily ever after” because there will always be dragons. There will always be people who are consumed by dragons. I have had many dragons in my life. Until I started noticing their thorns though I often felt compelled to do more than I should. Protect the dragons, sacrifice myself for the dragons or others. Until I realized, that is not my job. I am an observer and a storyteller.
The thorns of course are the wounds that have been inflicted on individuals (dragons) who then attempt to remove the thorn by inflicting the same kind of pain on others. It doesn’t make sense, but that is generally how unevolved individuals resolve their psychological issues.
An obvious thorn is one that most people can easily recognize. A man who as a child witnessed his mother being beat might have lived in fear for his mother or himself. He grows up and buries that fear by becoming a perpetrator himself. Until he evolves and does the real work to remove this thorn, he will continue to be a dragon.
Less obvious thorns may be accepted in certain situations. Take for example a woman rejected by her husband because she pursued her work with passion (not unlike many men but less socially acceptable). She might later resent a talented subordinate female with a supportive family. The first woman could make life hell for the second. If the first woman doesn’t realize that her resentment towards her spouse is causing her to abuse the second woman, she will continue to be a dragon.
The other part of this story is that we are not all meant to be dragon-slayers. We don’t all have the ability to approach a dragon, point at the thorn and then coax the dragon to let it be removed. Some of us are meant to protect those injured by dragons, but not all of us. Everyone knows that person who imposes their unwanted opinions into a situation or upon your life. It leaves you feeling wounded or attacked, right? If you attempt to be something you are not, you could be a dragon too.
How about you? In what ways have you been injured by dragons in your life? Are there any ways you have been a dragon to others?