In light of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, last Friday, I can’t help but think deep thoughts, and long to comfort others. Is there more to life than just a few shorts years? I believe yes. It is one of the main reasons I write.
I am a fool in society’s eyes when I believe we should aim for the goals of honor and truth and compassion? As I read comments about the news articles concerning the shooting, one reader ranted how it was just a person making a bad choice, that those who called it evil are “blaming the boogie man” for the tragedy. I sat up at that, since I had earlier named it as evil. It does make me wonder whether this person believes in love and compassion, equally abstract but real. I can hear him saying, “quit giving credit to anything higher for any good things; we made our eyes to see and minds to think and choose and our muscles to walk and put the sun in the sky…” Ah, the stark differences between atheists and Christians.
We cannot control natural disasters. We cannot control what others do. But we can control what we do — how we act, how we react. We writers are taught to get our main characters into the deepest trouble we can imagine, and then have them struggle to break out of it (happy ending) or fail (tragedy). Life is made up of people making choices — honorable, neutral, or evil. In the face of unthinkable disasters, can we (or our characters) choose the value of doing what is right? Will our characters be true heroes or merely people who make good or bad choices? Think of an event, natural or human, to whip at your characters, and then sit back at your keyboard and see how they react.