By Tia Lynn Lecorchick (managing editor)
Dave Belton, Georgia Representative for District 112, visited the Morgan County Elementary School (MCES) to speak to students about “mythology” on Friday, Jan. 16.
Belton has authored three books about mythology and was eager to share his knowledge
“I enjoy doing this and I enjoy talking to kids. It’s a real love of mine,” said Belton.
“I have been to a lot of foreign counties and always found it amazing that the stories told all over the world are very much the same. As big as the world is, people really are the same all over the world. They have the same ideas, fears, wants and desires.”
Belton believes it’s important for students to learn about mythology because it’s an avenue to understanding the universal commonalities between cultures, religions, people groups, and time itself. “It’s really the first awakening kids get to how similar people are around the world. There are differences, but we are all the same. We are all God’s creatures,” said Belton.
Belton gave a brief overview of the history of mythology, covering the most famous stories and universal themes. He told students about the adventurous tales of Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Mother Earth, Achilles and many other tall tales found throughout the most notorious mythologies.
“Mythology is really the combination of science and religion,” said Belton. “It’s how people tried to explain the world.”
Belton identified seven universal themes found in mythology from all over the world: the presence of dragons, power of fate, the sin of pride, a Great Flood, a Hero’s Quest, a place on earth that connects to Heaven, the cycle of life, and dying gods.
“These ideas are promulgated all around the world without any real explanation as to why,” said Belton. Belton also explained how even the oldest mythological tales are reworked, reimagined and retold today in our times. Mythological themes are found in popular movies today such as Avatar and The Hunger Games, said Belton. Mythology is even responsible for the names of the planets in our solar system and days and months of our calendar.
“Mythology is amazing. Think about a story that has been around for 4,000 years. They are really, really old. They are stories that live with us today, that we tell over and over again, and find meaning in,” said Belton.