Our world is at the second act midpoint turning point.
Screenwriters will be familiar with this. When all the scene cards are up on the wall, it’s the middle one with too many highlights and extra notes scrawled all over the surface. Scratched arrows, circled words and lots of exclamation points.
Stories and narratives and worlds (yes, our world included) shape our existence and transformation. That’s what a story does. A story maps out transcendence. A story is how we see and accept the possibility of a new way of living. How we move from selfish to selfless.
Regardless of genre or medium, a story shows how and why we shift loyalty from ourselves to others. From self-love to loving someone or something else. It could be a girl, a guy, a cause, an idea. It could even be a herd of cows.
A character always starts out with loyalty to themselves and loyalty to their personal goal. Every screenwriter knows that’s the A-Story. And every screenwriter knows that the B-Story kicks in when a spanner is thrown in the name of love. For the first time the main character begins (usually grudgingly) to shift allegiance and loyalty from self to the prospect or promise of what that another character represents.
In “Tootsie”, Michael Dorsey stops thinking about getting laid and starts falling in love with Julie. He shifts his loyalty from himself to her.
In “The Godfather”, Michael Corleone stops thinking about his future and starts thinking about the family. He shifts his loyalty from his interests to the family.
In “Star Wars”, Luke Skywalker shifts his loyalty from his self-interest and escape to the cause of the Rebel Alliance.
In “City Slickers”, Mitch Robbins is having a fine Texas time ridin’ and ropin’ until he falls in love with Norman who is a cow. He shifts his loyalty from entertaining himself to saving the herd.
The heart of every good story is the second act midpoint turning point where loyalty shifts from the main character’s hedonism to another’s more noble cause.
We are now at this midpoint in our collective story, in our collective world. It’s time to shift from the hedonism of capitalism to a new era of altruism.
It’s time to begin our transformation.