I love a good redemption story. I go weak in the knees when the hero stumbles, makes big mistakes, and somehow finds his way back. There's nothing quite as satisfying as a generally good guy who self-destructs in a big way before figuring out how to make his life better than before, preferably all tied in with a nice romantic happy ever after.
Redemption stories, or at least the opportunity for that kind of story, are all around us. I've known plenty of people who made a big mess of their lives using alcohol or drugs or gambling or spending or sex or food. Modern life seems filled with addictions of various kinds. Sometimes addictions are benign, other times they're a train wreck. Maybe that's part of why I like redemption stories so much, most of the destructive narratives I see in real life don't end well. Thank God for fiction.
Studies show that novel reading makes us more empathetic. Maybe it's because they train us to believe that it's never too late, that love is just around the corner and it's all going to be okay. And in the end, even if everything isn't okay, isn't it better to believe in the possibilities of redemption for ourselves and for those around us? I think so.
But then I would.
How about you?