Wouldn’t reading help?

Candice: I was going to write a blog today about all the terrible killings that have happened recently, the British aid worker and the two British tourists in Thailand.  But I got half way down and thought, ‘I’m not really sure where this is going.’  The point of it would be to discuss that there surely is more to life than this and I don’t think any death is justified.

I’ve traveled and have been in some hairy situations but thank god I’ve never been close to something like this.  I have friend who was mugged in South Africa but even she admits she went walking in the dark and probably shouldn’t have done.  However, I’ll like my daughter to grow up in a world where she can take a few chances, as every one I’ve ever done (where I’ve looked back and though OMG did I really do that) has paid off and made me the person I am.  But I don’t want to not ever to be able to travel, on her own, because the world isn’t safe.

I take solace in the fact that these are isolated incidents and don’t happen to every one but they still happen.  What can we do about it, well not that much as some people are programmed wrong, but in other cases good education must help.  As a part of that escapism and reading a good story must be key.  I’ve read a lot about murder over the years, but it doesn’t mean I want to kill someone (well only at certain times of the month :)) but that release, the escape of a story has certainly helped relax the mind and soothe the soul.

I’m going away soon and I’m looking forward to some unadulterated time with a good book.  The time where I can concentrate for a few hours and finish a book in a few days rather than the weeks or months it takes me at the moment.  And part of that will come the escape from everyone and everything.

I’m not going to be patronising and say these people wouldn’t kill if they read a good book. But for the rest of us its a good place to start if you need to relax.


Filed under Books, Candice, Writing

3 responses to “Wouldn’t reading help?

  1. Been mugged twice on the same day in Barcelona, nearly got blown up by an IRA bomb in Chelsea a few years ago (nothing personal) and my next door neighbour who was a soldier attacked me but apart from that my world has been quite a nice place to live in.
    With regard to reading a book, I started to read Jo Nesbo’s novels but he seems to take great delight in particularly nasty and grisly murders against women especially in The Leopard so I will read his works no more.
    I think that the casual violence and general nastiness in Eastenders and to a lesser extent in Coronation street (I only see the trailers though so maybe there are some redeeming features in the programmes) must have something to do with people’s attitude to violence especially domestic which is maybe where a lifetime of hate begins.

  2. Good point about soap operas – Maybe seeing violence on screen “normalises” it for people. They think that dramatised version is how real life should be. I’m not saying they copy it but maybe it seems that this is how life is and then life follows art.

    • Andy in Germany

      It is interesting that my boys -who grew up without a television- have a far lower violence tolerance in movies then their television watching peers: the eldest simply doesn’t like watching films that are rated for his age because of the tension and violence, which makes me think that more exposure leads to a higher tolerance.

      I think that Candice could go further than suggest we read a good book: we often find ourselves believing things because we were told a story. For eample, if people were told a better story about who they are and where they live or their skin colour/gender/culture -or other people’s colour/gender/culture et c then we may find there are less people who are ‘programmed wrong’ because at a deeper level, stories are our programming. I’m coming to believe that as storytellers we can go further than just write a story that takes people out of the world, but we can help them see alternative ways to see the world afterwards, and this can make a difference to individuals and communities.

      Okay, rant over…

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