Recently I was reading a blog from an author who was discussing how to create worlds in fictional writing. Having committed to enter the fiction writing world in June, I found Hugh Howey's blog quite informative and timely.
As many of you are familiar by now, I was born and raised in a cult. It has been a decade since I left. The transition required me to question every aspect of my life, thought, and decision. Nothing that I had been raised to believe, was off the table of being scrutinized. Research was a major part of my transition. History had to be relearned. To question became such a natural part of my life, that I still apply those concepts today. Research to find the source and then verify the source. Question everything. Challenge it. Be willing to explore other options and possibilities. Most importantly... listen. Listen to learn how another individual has formulated their opinion. You don't have to agree with it, but when you are willing to listen, you most often will find commonalities that can diffuse a heated topic.
I'm now an Atheist with Omnism philosophy. All my children are adults and have left the cult. We are as diverse in our religious and political thoughts as you can get. But no matter who sits in the White House, we will still be sitting around the table. Nothing is off limits to discuss. There are three rules.
- You cannot demean or belittle another person's point of view.
- You must provide sources for your position.
- You need to articulate your thought process on how you formulated your opinion.
One of Hugh's talking points in his blog was the distribution of wealth and applying a 100% inheritance tax. I'll let you read his blog to learn directly his philosophy on the topic.
I find the discussion of wealth distribution fascinating. The cult felt that the "higher law" of "God" would be that everyone submitted their money to the church and then it would distribute it according to need. The cult didn't practice that law, because the members weren't "ready" for that higher law. Instead they required a percentage of your gross income to be "worthy."
The challenge with distributing the wealth of another, is history has shown us that those governing the distribution often become corrupt and are more interested in their own interest and interest of those that are close to them. Conflict occurs due to self-interest. There will always be those that "enough" is never enough. Wealth equates to power. I would argue that for most, the power that one seeks in obtaining wealth, is to the freedom that wealth affords one to have to live their life and fulfill their dreams. While the concept of free schooling, health and housing is appealing, we haven't seen a society that has been able to maintain that long term, due to change in leadership and corruption. As we have currently seen, one's ability to sustain life is controlled by those in charge. With thirty million American now unemployed, the lack of confidence in governing leaders both politically and in the corporate world, has reached an all-time low.
Currently, I'm listening to The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. It is a well-documented and fascinated book on the psychological studies in moral intuition and group-think. Haidt presents that liberals, conservatives and libertarians all have strengths. If they could work together, finding solutions for solving humanities problems would be far greater serving of humanity at large. If we are incapable of understanding another groups thoughts and pain points, how can we claim our ability to provide a solution for them?
Until we are willing to study why we formulate our perspective and opinions, and learn how to communicate civilly when we disagree, it will be hard pressed to believe that we can come to a consensus on how to distribute wealth.
If we can't even hold civil conversations on Twitter, without blocking people; holding civil dialogue to get our country back on track and help individuals be able to provide for their families, will continue to elude us. Our commonality is that we all want to be able to have a roof over our heads, food to eat and enjoy life. We're not so different when you get down to those three basic needs of life.
- Quality of life
As I begin to delve into fiction and creating new worlds, for the first time I begin to question my ability to do so. The top selling fiction books are the most dysfunctional worlds that one can imagine. Yet, here we are in 2020 that make many those worlds almost Utopian in nature.
The good news is... worst case scenario I create a world that has no book sales. The best case scenario is that I create a world that generates book sales. The reality of it... if I don't write... there are no books to sale. I'm going for the better odds and writing. A new adventure begins.
Until then... you'll still find me in the non-fiction section. But soon... I'll be in the fiction section as well. It will be interesting what kind of worlds I am able to create.