Storystorm Day 2: Idea 2

Storystorm is a movement- yeah I think I could call it a movement- created by Tara Lazar in which writers take on the challenge of coming up with a picture book idea a day for the month of January. It’s a month of brainstorming for stories. Hence, Storystorm. The goal is to end the month with 30 new ideas to have in the holster.

Sounds like fun, so I’m going to try it. I don’t imagine I’ll find too many gems here, but I hope to mine for some coal that can be refined over time and polished into diamonds. I don’t know if gems come from coal, but it’s all rocks (are gems even rocks, actually? I could just look it up, but I’m not going to. I’m saving my effort for the actual ideas, not the metaphor about the ideas). And I’m going to share my ideas here, and hopefully turn this into a collaborative experience. I’ll throw out the initial impulse, and hopefully it’ll inspire something in someone else, and inspire something else in someone else and who knows how many different stories can be inspired from one seed. All I ask is you add something to the initial idea in the comments, show how you’re making it your own and taking it somewhere further than it was when you found it. Then I give you my blessing to take it.

So here we go:

Derek Parfit was a philosopher who believed in a objective morality. A definitive truth to goodness that made our decisions matter, because if we only considered what we wanted and that was the driving force in our lives, then anything we did in the pursuit of that could be considered right. That didn’t sit right with Mr. Parfit, who was a very empathetic person and didn’t want to believe it was right to hurt others for our own sake.

At least that’s a very simplistic understanding based on a few hours of reading about Mr. Parfit’s work. You see, I only found out about this because Mr. Parfit died today.

And of course getting into a philosopher’s life work could open tons of ideas for a children’s book. Too many ideas. But vague ideas. Tons of vague ideas. Because what could be better for a children’s book than a story about how we know what’s good? Is something good if it makes us feel happy? But what if it makes others feel bad? Is something good if it makes others feel happy? If making others happy makes you happy, then it’s probably good, but is it still good if it makes you unhappy?

How do we learn what is good? Could this go in the direction of Brendan Wenzel’s We All Saw A Cat? Is good objective? Is it something definitive that we all maybe see differently? Or is it something we all understand the exact same way? Do we come to it on our own, or are we all guided to it? Does that guidance vary by culture, or is actually the same from culture to culture? That interests me for a children’s book? Or is goodness actually subjective and therefore a little meaningless? That interests me to think about, but definitely not for a children’s book. But it might be perfect for someone else’s idea of a children’s book.So this is definitely one of those coal ideas that I hope over time can be refined. It might have to check out some books by Parfit.

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