Monday, July 24, 2017

I Know My Own Suffering, But Not That Of My Neighbor.

When I wrote "Ways of War" I had no idea it would "open up a can of worms" so to speak. I wrote the book as a form of entertainment, yet it has sparked a debate among readers.

I have never been one who passes judgment on others. Nor have I ever questioned anyone's views, beliefs, or behavior. I must say am I surprised by the responses I have received from a few readers who I will never name. I am a writer of fiction. In this case historical fiction. I first and foremost want to entertain. Apparently, the era I chose to write about is still far too real to some people. Understandably so and I respect that.

It was not my intent to open old wounds or cause anyone pain. So before I continue writing I want to make sure I apologize for any pain "Ways of War" has caused! My deep desire is to entertain. But now that "Ways of War" is out there I have been given a new task. During my research, I found many people who were affected negatively by the War and the fallout from the War. That is to say from all the decisions and actions of the many who chose to play "God" for lack of a better word.

"Ways of War" is a book about the Vietnam War. It was written from the perspective of an American woman who works at the University of  (Madison)Wisconson. The main character is surprised to learn about the lies and manipulations not only within the Government but throughout humanity. I don't believe any of what I have put on the page is news to the American people. I think it is difficult and sometimes represents the evil that we all wish didn't exist, but I don't think it is news. I will let the reader decide.

I mentioned above that the response relative to "Ways of War" has provided me with a new task. While yes I have the task of writing the next book in the series, I believe I have been given the responsibility of assisting in healing. I'm a writer, not a doctor, so the challenge that stands before me leaves me with the question, how? How can I, an author of fiction help anyone heal? Maybe I can't. I can, however, assist in other ways. I can listen, I can learn, I can teach and I can fund (though in a minor way currently).

I can listen. As I listen to the stories, challenges, and struggles of the many Veterans suffering from PTSD and other disorders and illnesses, my heart breaks. I know there has to be a way to help. I know as I make my way into the "limelight" or public eye, I can be a voice. As time passes I will be that voice if the public desires it. I will offer myself and whatever resources I have to support organizations that have a true desire to help.

I can learn. I will use all the information provided to me and learn. Those that suffer can teach me plenty. I will do what I can with what you teach me.

I can teach. With all the suffering that exists, we must be able to match that suffering with our resources and ideas. There are ways to help, we just need to make the connection. Once you teach me I will help make that connection.

I can fund. I have already promised to donate 10% of all profits from not only "Ways of War" but of profits from the complete series. It may not be enough, but it will grow over time.

I have been told by a few that they can't read my book because it would be too painful. Sometimes the first step in healing comes with facing our fears. That statement is not a challenge or a disrespectful statement. I know my own suffering, but not that of my neighbor. Only the sufferer can know when the right time is to reach out and take hold of life. My hope is that each and every person suffering would be able to find the strength to do so. I do understand if that can't happen.

I will never judge anyone. I won't condemn or ridicule. I will only honor and respect those that give their lives for what humanity sees as the greater good. We may all be looking at that greater good through rose colored glasses, but at least we are looking. As long as we continue to look; as long as we don't give up, I have hopes that someday we will be able to live together if not in peace, in tolerance.

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