Friday, August 15, 2014
BE THE GIVER by Jackie Wellington
With all the chaos in the media, I find myself longing for an UTOPIAN society, a good place. A place where everyone respects each other. A place where everyone trades and barters services for the good of all. A place where each member of society contributes what they can and will not be shun for it. And a place where each and everyone is accepted no matter his or her flaws. But I thought what I was wishing for did not exist until I found the GROG, WOW, and the Week of Writing Retreat - a place where writers collaborate, cooperate, and communicate together.
The GROG is a group of collaborators. Writers coming together to offer advice, support, and solutions to social and personal problems. WOW, our Facebook group, offers cooperation. Over 400 members who are willing to answer questions about anything from writing nonfiction picture books to publishing. And Week of Writing Retreat allows us to come together, sit in a close setting, and communicate with each other.
As I converse with the members of these groups, it reminded me of one of my favorite books, THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. (If you have not read it, you should or go see the movie to whet your appetite.) The main character is a 12-year-old boy who recieves the job he will hold for the rest of his life from the previous GIVER. . As he learns about his new job, he questions his destiny and what his community offers. The book is a great book, wonderful read; but what I loved is how these children are chosen for their jobs and the sense of community.
Looking at the chaos in the world, I realized why we need GREAT books, especially with strong characters and awesome plots. I also realize that we are desperately in need of a UTOPIAN society, a happy place with people who loves and support what we do. Even though we do not agree with the thoughts and beliefs of some of the people in our world, they are entitled to their opinions.
We have to stop focusing on the negative people who drains us emotionally. We cannot allow others to steal our joy. And that goes for our characters as well. It is important that our books have satisfying endings. Build characters that are not afraid to stand up for social justices, defend herself, and fight ignorance.
I am challenging all my writer friends. Write a book to change the world. Be the Giver! Give the world characters for whom to cheer. Give them plots to decipher. And give them problems to solve. Take us into a different world, place, or realm. Give! Give! Give!
I would like to see more kidlit books with an "acceptance" theme. It is okay for a character to say, "I don't agree with you, but I accept it." If there are more books like these, I will be the first to curl up on my sofa and read. I want to use a book to escape a chaotic world. I want to turn those pages and visit the minds of my characters. I want to see what they see. Taste what they taste. Smell what they smell. Hear what they hear. And feel what they feel. For me, we can learn a lot from a book.
So while America is running around in chaos, I am creating my UTOPIAN society. My good place. My place free from chaos. I suggest you do the same. Do not allow others to define you. I can't allow the media to affect me negatively. It is bad that our children have to watch chaos play out on TV and social media daily. We can be the Givers they need. I am so sorry, we cannot live in an accepting world. But I am not here to judge. I am here to read and relax in my UTOPIAN society. My happy place.