|—||Neil Gaiman (via rookiemag)|
50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their home — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school. Melissa Fleming of the UN’s refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where people can develop the skills they’ll need to rebuild their hometowns.
Watch this. And reblog it. PLEASE.
Neil Gaiman goes up to the counter and orders the Salted Caramel Mocha. While waiting for his order, Gaiman begins a conversation with an elderly woman sitting by the window. She weaves for him a long story, filled with old fears and familiar monsters. The protagonist seems more and more…
“Gentlemen, take heed. Our children are getting soft. Not just wimpy, or less sharp, but doughy. And pale, too. As the generation that has overseen childhood obesity levels quadruple and the induction of nature deficit disorder, we should be ashamed.
What happened to childhood? It’s turned into on-the-job training for overworked, overachieving, and overstuffed future stroke and heart attack victims, shielded from what should be the best days of their lives by a hyper-competitive culture and paranoia towards unfounded, statistically improbable dangers.”
“Even as we spend our days like perfectionist fairy godmothers floating above our children—trying from birth to sculpt Baby Einsteins, constantly dousing them with sanitizer, sourcing single origin organic whole foods, ensconcing them in bubble wrap and armored accoutrements just to teach them to ride a tricycle—we are still fucking blowing it on a fundamental level. All this overly-compensated smothering is just leading to a population of wimpy, binge-drinking stalkers who can’t cope with day-to-day life, spiraling towards a lifetime of prescription medication Band-Aids.
Our control freak quest to provide the perfect childhood and produce the perfect child is backfiring. Or worse: It is just making our kids hurt themselves.
15% of college students now experience from chronic anxiety, self-mutilation is rampant, affecting 15% of all adolescents, and 40% of women in college will suffer from anorexia or bulimia, all in an attempt at exerting some form of control over their own lives. This same innate need to be their own person is a leading cause of over-drinking, which reduces the above anxiety and also requires little to no social skills; and that same lack of social skills and experience with relationship development leads to stalking and violence.
What’s that saying about the road to Hell’s pavement again?”
“IT SAVES YOU TIME.
It looks like it’s wasting time, but literature is actually the ultimate time-saver — because it gives us access to a range of emotions and events that it would take you years, decades, millennia to try to experience directly. Literature is the greatest reality simulator — a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you can ever directly witness.
IT MAKES YOU NICER.
Literature performs the basic magic of what things look like though someone else’s point of view; it allows us to consider the consequences of our actions on others in a way we otherwise wouldn’t; and it shows us examples of kindly, generous, sympathetic people.
Literature deeply stands opposed to the dominant value system — the one that rewards money and power. Writers are on the other side — they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings that are of deep importance but can’t afford airtime in a commercialized, status-conscious, and cynical world.
IT’S A CURE FOR LONELINESS.
We’re weirder than we like to admit. We often can’t say what’s really on our minds. But in books we find descriptions of who we genuinely are and what events, described with an honesty quite different from what ordinary conversation allows for. In the best books, it’s as if the writer knows us better than we know ourselves — they find the words to describe the fragile, weird, special experiences of our inner lives… Writers open our hearts and minds, and give us maps to our own selves, so that we can travel in them more reliably and with less of a feeling of paranoia or persecution.”
Diversity for a Lifetime
I would like to hug all the women who have written for Doctor Who since 2008. All of them! I would start with…
What, nobody? That can’t be right…. (goes off, puzzled).