Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It Gets Better, Right?

Yesterday was rough for me. I'm the first to admit that I avoid the news because rarely is it ever good news. When I do tune in, I'm not treated to heart-warming stories about people who have overcome the odds (they happen, but they're rare). No, when I turn on the news, I'm assaulted with images of police tape lining International Boulevard in Oakland and reports that a 5-year-old boy suffered a fatal gun shot wound; the fourth child to die in this manner in the past year. It doesn't get worse than that, but the reports on the state of the economy, health care, human rights, the Middle East, and gas prices don't help matters one bit. Let's face it, folks: it's tough out there. So, is it any wonder that I prefer to hide under a rock of fiction?

Back to the point: yesterday was rough for me. A seemingly innocuous news story about Paula Deen having finally announced that she is diabetic (really, is anyone surprised by this? The lady actually drank melted butter on TV!) led to a news story about the Italian Captain who refused to go down with his ship. That, in itself, is awful enough. Then, that news report led to a report which triggered my mini-meltdown: Pope Benedict XVI states [that] "Gay marriage [is] a threat to the 'future of humanity." Um. Yeah. That's no way to increase your numbers, Padre. This, in turn led to this and this, and finally, the straw that broke the camel's back.

So, that's a lot for one day. What broke my heart was the story about the Girl Scout who wants to boycott cookie season because a transgender girl was welcomed into a troop. That's right, GIRL! She's a girl! WHY does this one girl get to decide that a small child who identifies herself as a girl can't be a Girl Scout? This goes against everything the Girl Scouts are supposed to stand for.

The Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law

So, maybe I've found the source of the issue here. God. Well, not God himself, but the idea of God. Which brings me to my next issue with this Girl Scout's attempt at protesting over this "issue". She's supposed to help PEOPLE at all times, not just when it's convenient.

It seems to me that this little movement this girl is trying to create doesn't really adhere to The Girl Scout Law, either. She's supposed to be trying to make this world a better place, not worse. And to be fair, I realize that this is likely not her fault. It's very likely that her parents just plain suck. Who on earth teaches their children to be so hateful to another person? Look, there was a lot my own parents could have done better, but this is one thing they got absolutely right. I've never been more grateful than I am today to have grown up in an environment where I didn't know these things were actual issues to some. So today, I thank you, Mom and Dad.

And still, you're wondering what the point of all of this is?

The point is that while I much prefer to hide out from the evils of the world, that doesn't mean they cease to exist. The world still turns, hate still exists, people are born and people die. What I realized last night is that I have a voice that has the possibility to impact people around the world. As a writer, I choose the world I present in my works. I have the ability to create a world that I like just a little bit better than the one I live in now; and on some level, I have the ability to impact the way people think. They may not agree with me in the end, but it will impact them in some way.

So today is a little less rough for me, because I feel a little less helpless. Today, I feel like I can make a difference, even if it's only to one person. And that's all it really takes-- one person to impact another, and they in turn impact another... and the beat goes on; and slowly but surely the world we live in will hopefully more closely resemble the one we want to live in.

1 comment:

  1. This is lovely, although I'm sorry for all the shit in the world that caused your meltdown. People wonder why we read fiction; this is why. I especially like the sentiment that it takes one person - just one - to change the world a little bit.