In my story “People of the Book,” three people — a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew — face a crisis in their lives. The three people are strangers and have little in common, yet each of them in their separate, fraught worlds discovers the same secret: The transformative power of the sacred tale. They find role models in their holy texts, as ancient characters emerge to show them the way. The patriarch Abraham, King David and the Hebrew slaves walk beside them, guiding them — alive as any idea.
People in public life have spoken of similar inspiration from holy books. Recently, the New York Times ran a story stating that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin drew strength from the biblical story of Queen Esther. Sen. Hillary Clinton has said that she identifies with Esther, as well.
What about you? What ancient character, or sacred story helped you solve a problem or gave you courage to grapple with something you couldn’t face alone? Does this work? What are the benefits and what are the dangers of looking to ancient tales for guidance?”