The Universe works in mysterious ways, but we already know this. This message from the ‘verse showed up a few days ago and I saved it to blog about because I was thinking about how we, as writers, should give back, and how we, as readers can give back.
It’s part of nature’s built-in checks and balances, Silver, that while there may be times when you think you can’t even help yourself, precisely in such moments there will always be someone else nearby that you can help, instead.
Which, I think you know, is actually one of the fastest ways to help yourself.
I hope that helps,
P.S. I sure feel better, Silver.
There are times when I hit bottom–in life or with my writing–and I’m convinced there’s nothing that will help, that no matter what well-meaning people say, it (whatever *it* is) will not get better. And more often than not I’ll cross paths with someone who needs my help. In the process of reaching out to them, I discover that I’m no longer down for the count.
When I was a “pre-published” writer, I was lucky enough to find published mentors who offered me the hand of friendship and experience. Now that I’m a published writer, I try to do the same. I judge contests. I offer critiques and encouragement to those who have a dream of becoming published. As a reader, I leave ratings and reviews for authors whose work I enjoy.
This is true, too, for my “other” life–the one in which I’m just a person living day by day, attempting to figure out this old world and how to get along in it. In the aftermath of the Murrah, my fire station was inundated with cards and letters from people and school kids from around the world. Part of my job was to read each one and hand them out to the guys I worked with. In that process, I was reminded that no matter how horrible one person could be, there were a hundred good people who would step up to help erase the bad. As I watched the footage yesterday, I was reminded of that. I saw people running toward the carnage, wanting to help. I saw a city come together, much as Oklahoma City did when we were handed one of our worst days.
That’s the message I would leave with each of you and all the people of Boston: Don’t let the bad win. Live your lives to the fullest, defiant in the face of evil, willing to face down those who want to shackle us in fear by their acts of terror. Live large, people. Love. Laugh. Take back the part of you they tried to kill.
Writers, write. Readers, read. Artists, make art. Stand tall, breathe deeply, and celebrate the joy in life. Reach out your hand to someone in need. Help them to their feet and walk with them until they can walk on their own. Help them learn to smile again. That’s how we help ourselves. That’s how we win.