Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG~The world is a WE

Recently I read a status on a social media site that set me aflame. The information shared wasn't pleasant; frankly it disturbed me for days later. It wasn't the words the writer chose to use that hit me, but the subject matter of a real-life event that happened in her world - her local community.

This particular incident dealt with the suicide of a young tween at a local school. A middle grader. It's as heartbreaking to write here as it was to originally read. 

But what I mostly want to focus on is the message at the end of that status. The author wrote What are we doing?

Yes, what are WE doing? Not them or those people, but WE

The headlines are flooded with gut-wrenching stories of school shootings, accidents, threats, and more of the like. We all hear about tragedies like these, read about them on social media or wherever. And then what happens?

Someone tugs the blame game out and thrusts it back into the spotlight, and we hear that this one is at fault or it's because that one didn't do this. Whatever, already. Accountability is a lost art. In accountability there is honor - a duty to oneself and others to do what is right and just. 

My #IWSG insecurity for this week: our society (not a particular nation, race, religion, culture, etc...), where it's headed, and how we as writers can contribute in positive ways to spread acceptance, diversity, and belief in the greater good. 

Ideas?
Feel free to spread this conversation by tweeting: How can  contribute in positive ways 2 spread acceptance, , & belief in the greater good.    

The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage, posting on the first Wednesday of each month. You'll find writer doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Support and a common understanding spread throughout the group as many fellow writers can relate. JOIN in anytime.


 photo Sheri2.png

26 comments:

  1. Everyone plays the blame game. When there's a shooting, everyone jumps on the anti-gun bandwagon. But guns aren't the real problem. The real problem is the people disturbed enough to do such a thing and how do we prevent it.

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    1. Bingo. And how do we prevent it. In there lies the perfect dilemma. Personally, I don't think there's just one way to prevent things like this from happening. I think it must be a collective that works together, which, as recent times have shown can be difficult to coordinate.

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  2. Hi Sheri - what a great post ... and you're so right we don't help ourselves. Also it seems that mental health is a major issue in the first world - certainly we have challenges here. We can't seem to take care of our own - or understand them ... but we should pay more attention, care more, worry more, be interactive ... and help others ... it's not easy - Hilary

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  3. As a writer I hope to give my young readers characters facing situations that they may be facing. I like to show those readers they aren't the only ones who know about suicide and cutting and bullying among other things. Others now about these challenges and dangers, too, and others care. And, through my characters, I want the readers see there are solutions to problems. There's hope.

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  4. We can make a difference if we try. I know I try to keep a positive spin on my stories.
    Will Tweet now!

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    1. That's all we can do, right? And point out wrongs and how a character overcame them.

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  5. I agree. Every time there's a tragedy, fingers start pointing outward, finding fault everywhere but with ourselves. Until those knee jerk reactions aren't the ONLY reactions where someone tries to do something, we won't make much headway.

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    1. So true. I like how you refer to it as a knee jerk reaction. We are defensive creatures, aren't we?

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  6. Laying the blame is both unproductive and destructive. As a school director, I was constantly addressing 'the blame scenario' and stomped on it quickly in order to get to the root of a problem and work on a solution to solving that problem. Blame just gets in the way of the truth. Thought provoking post. Thank you and have a great week.

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    1. Blame does get in the way of the truth and any positive resolution. Very true. I can't imagine some of the instances you witnesses being a school director.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. It is less important to determine how we got here than to decide how we are going forward. Wish I could hug you right now. Your passion is inspiring.

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  8. A long, long time ago two people of faith (I can't remember which) knocked on my door one day and asked who was to blame for the bad things in today's society and what could be done about it. Removing religion from the argument, my answer was that to a certain extent we are all to blame, because if each of us decided to work towards the changes needed that change would start to occur. That it should not be about blame, it should be about how we as both individuals and a society move forward. But of course, most of the time we react in horror at some tragedy or other, point fingers at who or what we think is responsible, and do nothing.

    We need posts like this to kick us out of apathy and into action.

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  9. Your point of view is well taken. I think something would be done if people as a whole were more moral and less lazy. It's easy to be reactionary, play the blame game, and do nothing. And many people wave the banner of religion, which is at heart naturally divisive and encourages them to judge others who are different in a negative way -- if you aren't MY religion and abide all its rules, you are wrong and deserve to be punished. And there are may who simply don't care, think the problems of the world aren't theirs to solve. They'd rather watch TV. I'm glad you want to do something, but moral laziness is a big flaw and very hard to change.

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    1. There, someone said it. Laziness, or it could also be called complacent or 'It didn't personally affect me, so I really don't have time to help make a positive change.' I'm not saying there aren't people in the world who do take the time, because there are. And the time doesn't have to be something big that makes headlines. It's just being helpful, positive, and selfless when we go to the grocery store and let the 'other guy' have the parking space we were heading for.

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  10. I'm reading plenty of great comments here. And all true! I never thought I'd be scared of my daughter being a high school teacher. She admitted to me, "Yes, I'd step in front of my students to save them from being shot." Wow, who would've thought our society would ever come to this? Great thought provoking post!!! I'll be tweeting...

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  11. School shootings scare the crap out of me. My kiddo is only in first grade and they've had to close the school due to bomb threats. It's like... has it always been like this? I don't remember these sorts of things happening when I was in elementary school. What changed? I don't know.

    But definitely, I think we as a nation need to change how we react to mental illness. In a lot of these cases if these folks had gotten the help they needed but were either too ashamed to ask or nobody... noticed, then maybe we could prevent needless deaths. I don't know :/

    It's frustrating. And scary.

    I try to make sure I spread diversity with what I write, but not in a way that feels fake.. I guess. I think it's sorta important for writers to do that.

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  12. What's going on nowadays in our communities and around the world is horrible, scary, and heart breaking. In my books, I do write about the bad but always find ways to bring in the good as well. I also love a happy ending...and I think that's because they are rare in real life.

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  13. It's so sad to hear about anyone committing suicide, but even harder when it's a young person. They've barely begun to live! I often feel guilty for not poking my head up and looking around at the world around me more often. It's so easy to just get stuck in the endless loop of taking care of our own lives, and not thinking of other's.

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  14. I wrote on my blog the other day we need to care more about people. I read an article the other day saying we need to have more empathy towards each other.
    Kindness. Caring. Empathy. We can't continue to look the other way all the time.
    Thank you for this post.
    Heather

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  15. You got some great comments. I know that Stephen King saved me during my h.s years. Suicide, drugs, violence touched my life. It was reading about the improbable that kept me going. Forgetting about all the b-s in my life for a few precious hours as I read. As a wtiter, That's what I want to give back.

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  16. What a sad, sad tragedy to hear of another middle schooler who took his own life! When this very thing happened in my little community, my first thought was, "what can I do to make sure this never happens to one of my own children?" Pointing fingers is NEVER the answer. All we can do is try to better our own selves and our families and hope for the best. I think it's so great what you're doing to help spread the word about acceptance and diversity. I'll tweet it now!!

    Also, thank you for your comment on my blog! There have been so many times lately that I feel like I'm failing in certain aspects of raising my children, so it was so refreshing to hear your story. After feeling pretty down the past couple weeks, I too went to parent/teacher conferences yesterday, and was AMAZED by all the positive things the teachers had to say about my boys. I kept wanting to say, "REALLY?? You sure??" Lol. Sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit, I guess. :)

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  17. I hope I'm raising my kids right. I think it starts with the individual. If everyone would do their part, we wouldn't be in such a messed up society. God is my Rock and answer to life! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. I think we can all be supportive the best way we can to those around us. I believe some people are lost and maybe if one or a few people put in some extra effort to reach out and help, then many of the bad things around us wouldn't happen. I've seen children saved by the efforts of others.

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  19. Ah, so important to have an awareness of the world as we write. And to make sure our writing or books encourage people, give them important things to think about and feel. To share understanding and offer support! Or even just to have a great compelling book to escape into and feel safe in for just a few hours.

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  20. Sadly, accountability is indeed a lost art, and we need to bring it back. Props to you for bringing that to everyone's attention! The blame game needs to stop and we need to look inside our own homes, our own teachings and get to the root of what is going wrong. We need to create a better culture. As authors, I feel we are doing that, but we could do more. A lot of violence comes out of bullying, of feeling helpless and hopeless. Perhaps an anthology to contribute to a cause to end bullying, or a helpline, or a boys and girls club. Something like that would be amazing. In fact, I may talk to the publishing company I work for about that...

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