While I haven’t necessarily set out to do so—not consciously, anyway—it seems that, one way or another and more often than not, the underlying themes of both my fiction and non-fiction writing are rooted in certain needs central to the well-being of us all:
- the need to be seen, heard, and understood;
- the need to be respected and accepted without judgement;
- the need to love and be loved for who we are.
Pretty basic stuff.
As you’ve probably noticed, people aren’t always what they seem. We make assumptions and think we know who others are, then find we have a lot to learn—hopefully, anyway, assuming we have a capacity for self-reflection. Misperceptions come easily, and many are quick to judge. Age, race, size, gender, religion, occupation, education level, liberal/conservative, married/single, gay/straight—the labeled lenses through which we view ourselves and others go on and on.
Maybe we try to deny we have our own pet prejudices, but they’re likely there, somewhere, tucked away in embarrassment or shame. Out of ignorance and fear, we needlessly, and often cruelly, separate ourselves and others into groups and categories, types of “we” and “they,” then look the other way. Continue reading