Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When We Start To Care...Things Can Change

One of the themes that runs throughout my novel Life is But a Dream revolves around bullying and another touches on the subject of school shootings. I've dealt with the concept of being bullied in several of my novels, mostly because I think it is one of the aspects of teen life that takes place almost completely outside of the world of adults. It's done in the halls, in whispers, and increasingly online. And as we continue to see, school shootings seem to be inevitably linked to the practice of bullying.

Every time a new incident occurs, my heart goes out to the victims, and more often than not, to the shooter as well. It's the same story every time. A kid from a broken home who gets picked on to the breaking point. How many times to we have watch the same nightmare take place before we, as a society, do something to protect these kids? And I'm not talking about metal detectors or some kind of fascist 'singling-out' process. What we need to do is find a way to bring civility to our High Schools and create an environment of respect. For kids from a broken home, school life is really the only life they have. And when school becomes a place where one gets dumped on all day, then home to nothing, what is left? Everyone knows this is going on and for the most part, nobody cares until several lives are ruined.

Part of the reason why I write the kind of books I do is to expose readers to these kind of characters and create a sense of empathy and understanding. Hopefully, they also serve to show kids who identify with the characters that there are people who know what they are going through. Sometimes all they need is a friendly voice, even if that voice stems from a work of fiction.

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