When we think about short stories with moral lessons we usually think about Aesops fables which were developed around 600 BCE. However, around 800 BCE Homer was authoring Iliad and the odyssey. Still further back in time we have the oldest recorded stories of any language with Gilgamesh from the Samarian people of modern day Iraq. The Gilgamesh epic is believed to possibly have roots as far back as 3,000 BCE.
The purpose of short stories with moral lessons was to pass on a message or to teach a lesson. These messages were sometimes stated outright or left to be interpreted by the audience. Many stories utilize both a direct statement of the message or lesson while other morals are often present and can be taken out from the same story as well.
In the Aesops Fable The Tortoise and the Hare the moral of the story is slow and steady wins the race, however other morals about over confidence, arrogance, humility and manners can be taken from the story. Morals and lessons were a way to teach the audience and society in general the proper ways to behave in a multitude of situations.
Short stories with moral lessons also offered hope and vision in a world that didnt always seem good and proper, and that things can work out for the better, the way they are supposed to be. They offered condolence to people wronged and encouraged them to continue to walk down the correct path and to not give into the temptations that surrounded them that they perceived to be wrong or immoral.
In addition, short stories with moral lessons give the audience the opportunity to escape real life, if only for a few hours or minutes, to smell the coffee and possibly provide guidance righting a jilted path that they have begun to travel. The stories help define what our morals are, could be or should be. They allow us to have a bit of time to take census in our daily modern lives. They allow us to help analyze people around us and help us envision the results of various choices we make.
Morals in stories, particularly fables that personified animals, do not point the finger at personalities or impart racist attitudes on people. Instead, they focus on characteristics which humans can modify if they find are unaligned with their concepts of good or bad, right or wrong, and allow us to recognize traits that we dont want to be associated with.
Stories with moral lessons allow us to see that we have become corrupt or are going to become corrupt. They dont deal with why we have become corrupt and they dont allow us to justify our corrupt behavior but to just recognize corruption. It is up to the audiences set of moral fiber to deal with the issue of corruption as in the more modern tale A Christmas Carol.
Today, with more people than ever in history populating the earth, there seems to be more corruption than ever before because corruption is a personal trait in which we make a decision to partake in it or not. As there are more stories and lessons to choose from than any point in history, we, as a society, seem to be in need of more short stories with moral lessons than ever before in history.
A quick glance at any of the thousands of articles on corruption or the multitude of instances in any paragraph on corruption found in the thousands of newspapers daily and we see an overwhelming need to perhaps pick up and promote fables or short stories with moral lessons that teach that once started down the path of darkness, forever will it lead to your own destiny.