Life is too short to be serious all of the time, isn't it? If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I would be rich. But, it's the truth, isn't it? Life is too short for people to be serious all of the time and if we don't know how to step back, relax, and enjoy what life has to offer we will miss the joys of life.
Metaphors are used to help break the ice, put a smile on your face, get you to think a little bit more, or simply because they are funny. If we didn't use metaphors, life would simply be boring (no pun intended). We need to think outside the box, play chess with words, explore the open terrain until those that are confused with the use metaphors really get it. Yes, we could just come out and say what really mean but where's the fun in that? I like to have fun; I like reading things that push the boundaries of one's conscious mind and invites them to go deeper. If I can go to bed thinking about what I read because it contained metaphors that required me to think a little more, the author has done their job.
One book (or books depending on how you look at it) has more metaphors than any other book in the world. This book is the Bible. It is filled with them because God’s purpose was that we read, re-read, and read some more so we remember what he has told us. God wants us to think about what he is saying so we really get the message. In the Bible, Jesus gives several parables (metaphorical stories) and some are confused and others are not. The Bible is meant to be interpreted by different people in different ways. The only real meaning is the one God has assigned for you (the reader) at the time you are reading a book, chapter, or verse. So, if God is able to use metaphors with different meanings for different people throughout his book to connect with several billion people, why can’t an author use a metaphor to portray one central meaning to his readers? Metaphors are a way of life and have been for centuries. God has a sense of humor and so should we.
I believe metaphors fail to work with some college students because they are too focused on making sure they get it right. They are not looking for any type of humor in what they read because a lot of them are used to scholarly articles that contain facts and research instead of articles that simply aim to entertain. Also, a lot of scholarly articles could be written with some form of metaphor that would make them more interesting but it is college students writing them and they are stuck on being serious instead of having fun.
When we get to college, most professors don't say: "I want you to have fun in this course and you will still learn a lot". They begin by stating what the course is about and the objectives that need to be covered during the semester. This is usually more than what should be crammed into 16 weeks but that is what they require that you learn so the curriculum becomes stressful for college students. Now, it is work, work, work, and play (humor) is not even thought of by those looking to be successful business professionals, teachers, or engineers. What most of the students don't know is that when you get out of college, those extremely successful individuals you will eventually run into will almost always have a great sense of humor and if you are witty enough, you just might land a great job.