"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"Everything in the human world has at one point or another, run on pure belief. Once we questioned if the sun would come up again tomorrow as it did today so we decided to believe that it would. We believed in it and into existence popped the spirit of the rising sun, one of many small gods that wait just on the edge of realization for enough belief to give them a purpose.
Many, many years go by and we learn, and we change and we no longer believe that it's our prayers that give us daylight and one small sun god is suddenly without a purpose. So we start to believe in something else. We decide to believe that once a year, a jolly man in a red suit comes down the chimney and gives children toys, and our belief gives that small god a new job. The Hogfather, in his red sleigh, drawn by a team of hogs, visits each house on the Discworld, bringing presents, spreading Hogswatch cheer and bellowing many a "Ho Ho Ho." But one Hogwatch's Eve, there's another change, and people no longer believe there's a Hogfather. The belief isn't replaced, it's just lost and tomorrow, with no Hogfather, no small god, the sun may not rise.
In his great hall of time, Death monitors the hourglasses of each and every life on the Disc. Every living thing has a life that can be measured in grains of sand, even that of immortals. When it becomes apparent that the life of the Hogfather is all but out, Death, false beard on his bare skull, and sack in hand, sets out to visit each and every house in the Discworld in an attempt to drum up enough belief to keep the Hogfather alive. He will break many rules, touch many lives (in a good way) and maybe, just maybe ensure that the sun rises.
It's absolutely no secret that my favorite author is Terry Pratchett. He writes what on the surface appears to be fantasy fiction but carefully interwoven into each story is a very important life lesson, a different way to look at the world and the permission that most of us seek that says it is OK to question what we've always been TOLD we believe. Pratchett always wants you thinking. He wants you to remember to feel everything. But above all, he wants you to be fascinated by the things that make us human because we really are, however you believe, quite miraculous.
“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They're not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME... SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"
MY POINT EXACTLY.”
It is Death of course, that speaks in ALL CAPS. It's fitting as his word would be, well, final.