Thursday, June 22, 2017
Books For A Better World
I have known for some time that the world looks better on paper. Words, arranged in such a way, can heal in a way where nothing else can. Words, when positioned just right, can take us to places that don't exist, perhaps to places that never existed or could ever be. Books transport us to envision an ideal that for whatever reason escapes our ability to live it.
I awoke from a nightmare one recent Sunday morning reminding myself of a feeling or conclusion that I rarely allow into my head or to enter my thinking but it's truthfulness invaded every fiber of my being. The thoughts invaded my existence and engulfed my consciousness: The world is a dangerous, violent place and it makes me feel helpless.
It may have been a combination of hearing about more terrorist attacks in London or my visit to a marginal neighborhood the day before, but I had bad thoughts swirling in my head. There are some people, intent on doing bad things, that simply can't be stopped. The police can't be everywhere and the criminal intention of everyone can't always be known.
I am the person who believes the world can live in harmony and find a way to share life peacefully but I am not ignorant to the fact that there is a cycle of violence that repeats itself in every generation. Poverty, mental illness and revenge will always exist and as a result we are left with people who will do us harm. Then add terrorism to the mix. We have nation-on-nation wars over politics, religion, or resources. The planet racks up a lot of broken bodies and hearts every single day.
I don't want to be bleak here, and for many of us, we hope to never be the victims of violence, but all too often millions of people are assaulted sexually. Others are randomly punched, stabbed or shot, for reasons ranging from robbery, prejudice, insanity, fun, or ego. We have a long list of enemies and people we would like to smack the shit out of. Most of us don't act on those impulses to strike out at others, but too many will let the blood flow into their engorged fists and let their undeniable rage burst without restraint or question.
Can books shape a better world and get people like me to see hope, to find redemption in a humanity that all too often brutalizes others? Can we use poetry, novels, and non-fiction to not only make us feel better but to actually help change the world for the better?
Books can make us feel good, if not distracted, but can they cure our social ills, especially when it comes to violence? Could books even be harming us?
Books can do harm when they ignore the truths that we need to confront, snd instead focus attention on less important things.
Books can mess with us when they spew lies, misinformation, hatred, and a dogma that inspires violence.
Books can separate us and leave us less united when they call for groups of people to be allegiant to a warped outlook on life.
I believe books have an obligation to do no harm and to do more than snestesize us from life's cruelties and shortcomings. Books need to help, heal, and harmonize. They need to resolve issues, solve problems, and fix what is broken. Perhaps I burden authors and publishers but I believe the real purpose of books is to in fact have a purpose and that is to contribute to creating a better and safer world.
This is the challenge of our times.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs