Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't Try to Tyrannize

Last night, I saw Stephen Fry speak at Harvard. One of the benefits to living in Boston is the glorious literary and academic community surrounding us. He was receiving an award for Humanism-- which was concisely defined as "good without God", emphasis on the good.

He spoke about not forcing your beliefs on people, about acting out of love, and about Oscar Wilde. I think authors could benefit from this advice. It doesn't matter what your beliefs are. But don't try to impress them on your readers. They'll be there, that's enough. You could subtly change the world, but don't try to do it explicitly, or you end up being one of those issue-books I despise.

I'm not sure where I fall in the faith spectrum, but thanks to Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman and Stephen Fry, I'm coming to see that the most value comes in being kind, in loving, in doing your best to do good. I believe in the power of art, but not everyone does. All I can do is try to create. I believe in music, and books, and thoughtfulness. So that's me.

Hearing Stephen speak, and wandering around Harvard Yard, made me miss Oxford fiercely. Also, I turned twenty-two Monday, and my twentieth birthday was spent there, so I had nostalgia from that, too....

This has been your thinky-blog for the day.

Also, watch this if you haven't:


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