Out here on the west coast, we are reeling from yet another tragic incidence of mass violence. In our stories, we examine all aspects of the human condition, including the urges and demons that contribute to outbursts of violence.
And we must. Even when tempted to shirk the dark, fiction writers can offer views of our emotions, thoughts, plans, dreams, fears, and hopes that help us all realize the essential truth that holds us together:
I remember studying historical tragedies in high school and college, and reading over and over again that in order to carry out systematic violence, the first step is to dehumanize those at whom the violence is targeted.
Perhaps our most powerful weapon against violence is the stubborn refusal to dehumanize anyone. So, in our stories, let's keep uncovering the humanity in all our characters. (Hey, in sci-fi, even robots and aliens can be humanized.)
Let's tell stories that help us understand one another and ourselves, in all our frailty and glory.
After all, isn't that why our species invented storytelling in the first place?
Elizabeth Fountain writes stories of aliens and angels, and dogs who save the world. Again. You can find out more about her work at her web site, Point No Point.