I don’t know about you, but the past few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. Between Trump being even a bigger asshole than anyone expected to other assholes being emboldened by his discourse, to say I have felt disheartened about humanity would be the understatement of the century.
I am a highly sensitive person. It is who I am. For better or worse.
Things around me affect me, even if they aren’t directed at me. I feel all so strongly it is both my strength and my curse, but this has also meant learning to “isolate” myself now and then in order to stay healthy. Literally.
I’ve come back form the shadows and my self-imposed exile because I want to know what YOU think about stories, their power, and our responsibility as storytellers.
As a screenwriter and illustrator telling stories is all I do, all the time, every day. Stories are my job and my joy, and I consider them my life’s work.
I have always defended such occupations as important because, while it is true that we are not curing cancer, I believe we have the very important mission of giving meaning and purpose to people’s lives (so that survival actually has value), and we’re very surreptitiously making them better humans.
This is what I have always believed and what has given meaning and purpose to my work.
But I feel we’re at a crossroads now.
Have you looked around lately? Yes, the world is still full of beauty if you look for it, but the ugliness has also come out of the shadows with a vengeance that is hard to ignore.
If stories really make us better humans, how come it is so easy for a common person to reject Darth Vader and what he stands for, but not see the same evil reflected in some politician they wholeheartedly support? How come you remember the Nazis being the bad guys in your history class, but can’t seem to realize history is trying to repeat itself right now and we need to stop it from happening?
Where is all this hate coming from and how come the perpetrators can look themselves in the mirror and not identify themselves as the Death Eaters they are?
Are stories not accomplishing what they’re supposed to do? Are we failing to instill empathy and kindness in our audiences’ hearts?
And if this is the case, how do we fix it?