Sometimes, this world is a bit hard, eh? I’ve been steadily growing sick of all the political and religious arguing. My husband is addicted to hours of nightly news and I’ve been slipping in earphones to block it. My son’s school is having a carnival and I’m in charge of our room’s booth, so I’m hooked up to the email loop and lately it’s been about a fun and completely harmless fortune teller booth–which will now not be happening–and which mom is behind what. Grr. I grew up going to school carnivals with these things and I remember parents taking it in stride as silly fun.
Not these days. You can’t say BOO without someone being offended. What ever happened to teaching our kids acceptance and respect for other cultures, beliefs, etc? It’s gone. Feels like people want to make the world this tight, little box without any room for diversity. What is so hard about raising your family with your beliefs while respecting others and they way they choose to live?
It makes me so sad.
I think that’s why I’ve always been drawn to fiction. As a reader, we can escape for a little while.
As a writer, we can create whole other worlds–even if they’re based on a reality setting like the one we have. We can make our people more compassionate and caring–we can do wicked things to our villains. <g> In fantasy and science fiction, we can just think up new settings and maybe even use a metaphor of a familiar, contemporary problem to share a message. Write about a future when people aren’t forcing their way onto everyone else. (Okay, after all the fun, monster/alien battles, of course.)
I used to be addicted to Star Trek TNG. I lived nearly an hour from my work (This was in Virginia and we had to move far out of the city in order to afford a nice house–the DC area is expensive!) and I’d race home daily to catch the six o’clock reruns. I was pregnant with our first and I’d toddle up our deck stairs and start the show winded every night. Dinner was usually late. <g>
My husband once asked why I loved the show so much. He knows me, so he knew the answer. He just liked to see me with those rose-colored glasses plastered to my face. (Wow, miss those things.) My answer? In that fictional future, people and aliens were equal, treated with equal respect whether they were male, female, straight, gay, religious or not. There was this common attitude of respect for the most part–sometimes they did come across the “not so evolved in their thinking” species.
But people could make their own personal choices and the only basic code to follow was non-interference.
We do have to have conflict in our stories and most basic conflict comes from interference and separate ideas, but we can still create great characters who use their actions to show that maybe there is a better way. Or you can take a character who is closed-minded and open their eyes through a particularly difficult lesson.
That blank piece of paper or monitor screen is so full of possibilities, it’s mind boggling, isn’t it? 😉