Writing our story really isn’t overly complex. One of the features of our story is our values.
In Christopher Nolan’s movie The Dark Knight, there are a lot of points that are made, many by the trusty butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
While visiting with Bruce Wayne and discussing the menacing Joker, Bruce Wayne makes the statement, “Criminals aren’t complicated, Alfred. Just have to figure out what he’s after.”
Alfred, in all his wisdom, corrects Wayne by telling him a story.
“With respect Master Wayne, perhaps this is a man (Joker) that *you* don’t fully understand, either. A long time ago, I was in Burma. My friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. So, we went looking for the stones. But in six months, we never met anybody who traded with him. One day, I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.”
Wayne, puzzled, asks why the stones were stolen. Alfred replies, “Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Quotes courtesy of IMDB.com
Classic line. And, this describes Heath Ledger’s Joker to a T.
His value was chaos in the city of Gotham.
Why? I’m not really sure.
There is a scene in the movie where the Joker is meeting with the Gotham drug lord in a warehouse and he burns a pile of money.
You may not value chaos, but you value something. Maybe you want to change the world. Maybe you value faith. Maybe you value feeding hungry children or providing clean water in a third world country. Maybe you value something more than profit.
Whatever it is, you have values and it makes up your story.
Values is another component of writing your story.
Take a long hard look at your values. How do they help write your story?