It’s no secret that 2016 has been a rough year for us all: in so very many ways the world got a bit worse. There are lines from a poem (What They Did Yesterday Afternoon) by the extremely wonderful poet Warshan Shire which describes this year perfectly:
later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
Anyway, I think the only sane response to all this is to try to make the world a better place, each in our own small or larger ways, as we are able. Not in a hippy-dippy buying-the-world-a-coke kind of way, but in small acts that bring a little brightness back into the world. Feed some people. Spend some time talking to an older person who is lonely. Carry a sign. Donate a few bucks to an organisation who does good in the world.* Since I’m an artist, I can offer my art.
Dreams are important. Positive role models are important. Being able to read a book or watch a movie and see a main character like yourself represented is important. Experiencing a story that draws you into someone’s world who may be very different from yourself is important because once you connect with them it is much harder to see them as “other,” as someone to be feared. Diverse characters are important.
So what I’d like to do is offer a free book cover for one person with a story featuring a diverse main character. Yeah, full-on SJW stuff on my part…and why not? I’ve never seen being a social justice warrior as a bad thing. Goddamn right I’ll stand up for women, or people of colour, or LGBTQ folk because I’m a decent human being and not an asshat. Maybe I’m more of a social justice mage or priest, but whatevs…
I’ll do a post tomorrow with the details. :)
*A couple of organisations doing good things that I care about are Medecins Sans Frontieres and the ACLU.
4 thoughts on “A Small Holiday Gift”
A powerful poem indeed. We personally lost a handful of people this year to random episodes of death (e.g., blood clots, accidents, old age, cancer), including my husband’s sister. So young. So heartbreaking.
I love your response, Ravven…do our little parts to make the world a better place. You, with your amazing artwork. Me, with my stories. And I do enjoy random acts of kindness. With the coming holidays, it reminds me of what the season used to be about – being a little nicer, thinking about others, reminding ourselves to smile a little more and count our blessings.
I’m excited about your cover giveaway! I have just the story! I look forward to what you’ll be posting.
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Arial, I’m so sorry to hear that – that’s terrible. And yes, I honestly feel that each and every one of us has the ability to make the world a little bit better and we all so very much need that right now.
Agreed! Thanks for being one of those people who brightens our world! ;)