Every once and a while I will run into a short story that will really make me think about my world view. I spend a lot of time reading online, probably way more than I should. Occasionally, something sticks. It worms its way deep into my psyche and I return year after year to re-read it. Here are some of my favorites.
Number 1: Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
This story provides a chilling examination of egalitarianism gone too far. The world of Harrison Bergeron is one where everyone is finally equal, in all regards. This equality is enforced by the iron fist of the "Handicapper General", who is just as good at their job as anyone else would be; everyone is completely equal, after all. I do not want to give too much away but the story is told from a interesting point of view and is really an amazing story.
Number 2: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov
Every beginning must have an end and this is the tale of that end. The last question regales the story of mankind and provides an interesting look at our future. No matter how successful we might be, no matter what obstacles we might overcome, there is a limit. The universe has a shelf life and as a result so do we. Each section of this story jumps further and further forward in time until we reach the inevitable heat death of the universe and shows that sometimes and ending is not really and ending.
Number 3: The Last Answer by Isaac Asimov
Although not directly related to the previous story, The Last Question, as the name might imply, I still feel that these two stories pair together really nicely. This is a mesmerizing story that begins with the main characters death and is about what meets him on the other side. True immortality after death might not nearly as desirable as some modern religions have it made out to be and this story offers some amazing insight into what it might be like to be an eternal being.
Number 4: The Egg by Andy Weir
Another story that begins with the main characters death. Told from a slightly different perspective than the last story. Without being preachy this story might impact the way you think about others, especially how you treat them.
Number 5: Talking to God... by The Ragged Trousered Phillospher
Another conversation with the "almighty", fortunately this time our main character makes it out the other end in one piece. This great story describes an atheist's chance encounter with "The Deity" and the conversation that ensues. It provides a great way of looking at the world and the universe and sets up an interesting perspective on some of the challenges we might face going forward as a species.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these stories. Please let me know your favorite short stories in the comments!