To kill a dragon…

“Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – G. K. Chesterton

A friend recently shared this Chesterton quote with me, knowing that I blog about dragons. It occurred to me that the message of the fairy tale isn’t just for children, though–don’t grown-ups need the message that dragons can be killed at least as much as children do? Sometimes I wonder if we don’t need it a little more. It can be so easy to forget about hope, or to assume there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel just because we don’t see it now. Young or old, I would encourage you to remember the truth offered by fairy tales: It may take a fight, but good will win in the end. The dragons can be killed.

The friend who sent me the Chesterton quote has been fighting her own dragon in the form of depression. This is a struggle most people don’t want to talk about, but she has recognized that silence only gives the beast strength. She started a blog to share her struggles, helping those on the outside understand a little more and showing those fighting the same battle that they are not alone, and that by breaking apart the lie that depression is a shameful fight, it can be robbed of part of its power. Whether or not this particular dragon has touched your life, I encourage you to read her story. Just becoming aware could be the first step toward helping someone (or yourself!) slay a dragon. Her most recent post deals with Memories, the Lingering Dragon, and Learning to Swim.

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6 thoughts on “To kill a dragon…

  1. That quote makes me depressed. Dragons are always portrayed as evil creatures. When I write, I do my best to show that they are not all evil. Dragons being thought of as anything evil makes me sad.

    • There have traditionally been two main takes on dragons: The Eastern understanding had many dragons as wise, benevolent, and lucky, while the Western tradition only knew them as terrible beasts. In Chesterton’s time, that Western understanding was still the only one really known, which is why typical fairy-tales would have them as creatures that would frighten children. The modern variety in fantasy depictions of dragons is a relatively new obsession for our culture.

  2. I agree with Elizabeth. You can depict dragons anyway you want. They make excellent bad guys. Smaug is quite a formidable foe! But they can make excellent good guys, too.

  3. I think the reminder and the encouragement that dragons can be killed is needed daily. We are so quick to lose faith and hope. We need to know that things can be so much better.

  4. Pingback: One Lonely Dragon | My Blog

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