The company, Lehmann Brothers, was merely a story. It crashed and burned during the financial crisis of 2008. Yet, the anguish of an elderly person who lost their life’s savings with Lehmann Brothers was only too real.
The country of Yugoslavia was merely fiction. It ceased to exist the moment everybody in the world stopped thinking of it as a country. Yet, the death of a Yugoslavian soldier who died fighting to protect its borders was only too real.
The idea of a Zimbabwean dollar, like every other currency in the world, is merely a story we believe in. When we stop believing in that story, the currency turns worthless. Yet, the helplessness of a Zimbabwean mother unable to buy a meal for her children with a whole month’s salary was only too real.
As civilization progresses, stories are finely woven into the fabric of ours lives. As humans growing up in a world run by fiction, we all need to understand how to navigate their collisions with our real lives.