By Hipolito Navarrete, Managing Editor/Publisher
Most folks say they like kindness and intelligence, and psychological research evidences that there is a truth to that because at the end of the day, people must feel safe with those around them. The other side is that, outsiders are always in danger of being hurt just because they are defined as different. The challenge that we all face, is that in order to make a difference and make progress in a changing world, we must step out of that safe space and face those that will look at efforts to create a new reality through the constraints of their life experience and personal beliefs. Mistakes are not easily forgiven in this endeavor, as most folks would prefer to keep the world they understand than to advance into a new world, into the unknown in which they may not be comfortable, even if that world is more just to those deemed outsiders or misfits. Grit: courage and resolve; strength of character, is the critical human trait for someone on this type of quest must have or develop. She must also have strong communication skills and sense of self worth to carry on through the challenges that will come her way. Her communication skills must be exquisite, as those that she will have to face are also very well versed and convinced that letting things be, is the best for all. Writing is one of those basic and necessary skill sets that are not just for art, but also for social change.
There are many examples of those that have succeeded regardless of the challenges they encountered, unfortunately, those challenges and roadblocks are usually designed by others that simply do not like what is happening, or who is doing it.
As we continue to expand our universe, literally and figuratively, we must push for honesty with our youth, and that means exposing them to the beauty and tragedy of the world, their world, a world that they experience daily regardless of their age and social status. A simple conversation about others is not so simple if one does not have the skills or the openness and willingness to go past our own prejudices.
We live in a world where many ideas are shared and experienced, but unfortunately, most do not have the skills to create, expose or narrate to the world their thoughts and experiences. We each are a world of ideas within ourselves, and those clashes we experience with each other is because we feel we live in an exhausted world that does not want or care to listen to our pain or our solutions. Many prefer to give the people around them what they want, regardless of the consequences that it brings to them. We especially treat youth with a lack of respect by hiding topics or chastising those that may expose them to a reality that is the larger part of their world and will encounter them when they are unprepared.
Writing, all styles – expository, persuasive, descriptive, or narrative, will allow the ideas to become real. We all remember and know, Shakespeare, Cervantes and others that have been gone for centuries because of their writings. In order to write and describe the world that we live in as authentic as possible and to create a new narrative from others that can lead to change, our exposure to all others must be early in our lives. We are not as fragile as others think we are. JK Rowling, through her magical world addresses some very real world issues; racism, slavery and status quo, criminal justice, inalienable rights, mental illness, prejudice, gender equality, sexuality, child abuse and many others issues of social justice. Being a writer is being a creator at its core, and through this art, just like JK Rowling, you can address social justice, inspire social change and live your truth. JK Rowling’s advise to the young author’s at the elementary school she attended was simple and arduous: “Read as much as you can, I’d say read anything, the more you read the better, because it will teach you what you like and what makes good writing, and it will increase your vocabulary, and you’ll just have to keep on and on writing and you’ll find that you’ll hate most of what you write at first, but sooner or later you’ll write something you’ll quite like…”