Over the past several months I’ve felt like we’re living in one of my stories. As a writer, let me be the first to say that although I find it a fun place to visit, you don’t want to live there….
Recent events are chock full of the potentiality to frighten people, anger them, and divide them. The division, a tactic opponents use to help them conquer, perpetuates the fear and anger. The pot is being stirred, and in all this chaos, folks can continue to be worked up, or they can find a way to experience peace.
I choose peace.
Peace doesn’t mean rolling over and sticking your head in the sand, however. The most recent event that looms very threateningly is the ready application of censorship. As a writer, I have a strong opinion on that subject: Censorship is wrong. There’s a reason Voltaire’s attitude was encompassed as “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Censorship is like a cancer because it spreads. First one group will be silenced, and then another group, and then another….
What is considered to be on the right side or the wrong side changes as the tide turns within the culture. Those who think it’s good to silence voices that oppose them need to be aware of the proverb to be careful about what you wish for. That which they championed might one day be used against them.
And what begins as censorship leads to worse forms of oppression. I don’t think I can express it any more eloquently than the poet Gwyn Thomas did:
Books burning in the fire.
The horror of the burning is
As ever, as ever, a sign.
In the night, round about, there are bright eyes
Full of the passion of destruction …
People in the fire.
Yeah, this is a heavier post than my usual stuff, but if we want peace, we must not be silenced….