From Kate’s Writing Crate…
I’m sitting in my office watching the Unity Rally in Paris. Looks like more than a million people including other Europeans, Africans, Australians, Americans, and from many other countries and different religious affiliations have gathered together to show they are unified against terrorism. Some have flags, others placards with “Je suis Charlie” as well as listing the names of journalists imprisoned and murdered elsewhere, and still more carrying pens and pencils—reminding us all that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Remembering that words are powerful, that cartoons are powerful are important lessons. Writers and artists play essential roles in civilization. We capture what is happening—the good and the bad—for generations to come.
The Nazis gathered art and burned books to erase and control a culture. Books and art are touchstones. Most of us have not seen the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci in person, but we all know about it as well as Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. And who can’t recognize the Peanuts characters by Charles Schultz?
Writers and artists can also change civilizations:
Where would we be without the Constitution and The Bill of Rights?
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe changed America.
Charles Dickens’ depictions of the poor in England helped end the horrible conditions at orphanages and poor houses.
Journalists ended a presidency.
Political cartoonists make us think.
When writers tell the truth, reveal it to readers, there are repercussions. Even in fiction, truths are revealed. Once seen, truth is difficult to forget.
We are free to write what we wish. Not everyone is so keep writing.
Thank you to all the police departments and the members of the Armed Services that protect us and our freedom. They put their lives on the line every day. Thank you for your service. We respect and honor those who died bravely doing their duty. Freedom is not free.