Every year in November I see a debate unfold around the history of Thanksgiving.
On the surface there's one version of the story. A story of friendship and togetherness which is widely celebrated. And below the surface there's an alternate story with far more complex consequences.
It makes me think about how many common stories/ideas are derivations from an original truth.
The story of Icarus is widely repeated. You'll frequently hear people say 'don't fly too close to the sun'. It's a warning against hubris.
Here's the problem. In the original story Icarus' father did warn him not to fly too close to the sun because the heat would melt his wings.
But then he said "more importantly don't fly too low, because the wind and the waves will weigh down your wings and you will surely drown".
So we have the industrialist fable on the surface. Don't be too cocky. Don't stand out. Don't be too extravagant.
But below the surface is a warning against cowardice. Against seeking the safe path. Against keeping your head down.
How often do we simplify ideas? How often do we flatten truths into digestible proportions? How often do we turn original messages upside down and sideways?
It's an interesting reminder of the things we remember and the things we choose to forget.
It's also a signal to 'investigate your shoulds' - the heuristics you carry with you about how to engage with the world.
Speak like this. Dress like that. Buy these things. Take this path.
Where do those stories come from, and how many of them are worth sticking with?