Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
For years (if you've stuck around long enough) I have written about the plight of our country and state of the world through this blog. I enjoy sharing my thoughts, my dreams and hopes for a better future. What you have discovered since 2005 when this blog has appeared is that I am not fooling myself and you, the reader, when I state that I am simply an author, not an activist.
As I have mentioned before on previous posts, my effort as an author and writer of other published works is to inspire you the reader to see the errors of Man's ways. I also write tales, poems or articles that will challenge us to do better. It will be easy for me to pull out a definition of the word activist right now and persuade you to believe that's not who I am or pretend to be. Plato and Socrates weren't activists, but philosophers. These two words in our modern day may be explained by those who hold on to the argument that in order to be an activist, you need to be a philosopher and engage in creating change within whatever system you argue against. Whatever you believe is up to you. I maintain it's a moral duty I believe for the author to denounce examples of wrongdoing in our world and country even if they're not actively campaigning against it.
Is it worth it for a best-selling author to advocate for a social cause only to find her 'fans' cancel her for a point of view different from theirs? This social media platform era we live in now gives us, the author, the impression our voices matter when except they don't. We can talk about so many issues relating to race, gender, financial disparity, but do we who write merely because of the joy of the art really 'move' the needle? Are we making a difference in today's modern landscape? Did it work for Hemingway, Twain, Bradbury or any literary artists before and after these great legends of the written word? Again, I say we write books that inspire and challenge the human mind. We create ideas, fables with the purpose of enlightening your heart and spirit. We are not attempting to change a political policy or system (unless we choose to do so). This is not the reason why authors write. Authors write because they have something to say and the need for it to be seen in print or these days, electronically.
Authors should remain as storytellers advising us on the dangers of Totalitarianism, racial injustice, gender issues and other pressing issues in our modern day and time. It is their job to be the 'town cryer' in a mythological village warning us it is eight o'clock and not all is well. That's how it's been since the days of old, when the earth formed societies and caste systems to rule over their subjects.
Our current landscape makes it possible for each one of us to have a voice in whatever cause we believe is worth fighting for. It is easy to become an activist, just look at the many Twitter handles to discover that for yourself. With that in mind, it's very possible for you or I to make a non-intentional statement over a social wrong which will be taken and disseminated by the watchers among us. There is a chance our words will be defined as 'activist' in nature. It is my hope that those of us who are authors or writers never make the mistake that our voice is larger than it actually is. Let the activists be active, let us write and seek to change hearts and minds through our beloved gift.