One of the things that’s driving me a little nuts right now is that the stories that are getting the light right now are about super heroes and gods. Don’t get me wrong. I’m eating these stories up right alongside everyone else. However, afterward, I’m talking to real people and the words they’re saying are distressing.
“I don’t speak because I’m not powerful. My voice doesn’t mean anything.”
“I don’t vote because my vote doesn’t matter. If I was someone important, that might be different, but I’m just a person trying to live my life, you know?”
“I’m not trying to change the world. Why would I? I’m nobody.”Andrea, Michelle, and River
What Entertainment Is Teaching Society
It seems to me like we’re teaching society that in order to matter, you’ve got to be something incredible, something amazing.
I’ve also started learning about Black History, which doesn’t seem like it’s the same, but you don’t know where you’ll get tangent thoughts or connections. Continuing on, though, I thought I knew stuff because I’m not stupid. I am white, however, and I didn’t realize what that meant until I started diving into the history that was never shared with me, the stories I never heard, and some of them were big.
But the thing that really got me were the stories that still weren’t told, the ones you can almost hear if you use your imagination, of the people who fed other’s minds with dreams of a better life. Behind every amazing person is another who fed the dreamer. Behind everyone who made a difference was a person who made their life worse through inaction or ineptitude. In today’s mainstream fiction, we’re focusing on evil, people doing things for evil reasons because that’s easy, and… it’s easy to say, “That would never happen to me.”
Forms of Evil
But evil comes in many forms; neglect, the unwillingness to fight, the inability to choose, the plodding through life without looking up or looking out. What’s terrifying is that those evils are tangible. They’re felt in almost every single home. Every single one. Even this one and I’m fighting hard to be a fucking rock star of the parenting world now that I have a second chance. Shane and I aren’t fighters. We don’t know how. I mean, we try. We get angry, but at the end of the day, we’re the people who are taken advantage of because we… don’t fight back. His kids – our kids – needed us to fight for them and we would have lost if we’d relied solely on us doing the fighting. The kids won that fight. We didn’t. Every single one of us has the potential to be a villain, and it all comes down to every day choices. Do you choose to play Pokemon instead of having the hard conversations with your ex? Do you choose to dive into Facebook shorts instead of working on your book because your brain is telling you you’re not going to make because you haven’t yet even though you just took a company from $400K to $900K in less than a year so obviously you’ve got what it takes?
Being a Hero
Every single one of us can be a hero, too, though. If you choose to get off the couch and do something, you’re making inroads to hero-dom. You might inspire someone to do something bigger. Or you might be the domino that sets off another person’s actions. Or you might inadvertently be the way “it just works out” because you made one positive step instead of doing nothing. If you choose to watch a class and learn something instead of re-watching Supernatural for the eighth time, you might spawn a conversation that will ignite a flame in yourself or in someone else and that thought might be a domino.
I think this is why I get so frustrated with the fact that heroes have to be big. They have to be super. They have to be gods. That’s what we’re filling our minds and souls with, this idea that we’re only good enough if we achieve god level.
“Well, I know I’ll never make it that far, so why should I try?”
“Why should I get off the couch or out of bed if I know I will never make the one achievement that will make me a someone?”
“Why try? The goal is so far away, it’s impossible.”Me, Myself, and I
I want more stories of real people, but more than that, I want more real stories. I want romances that don’t worship men. I want people who make bad decisions and then face them and the consequences to them and then find a way to make a difference in life anyway. I’m tired of experiencing stories of gods and super heroes.