Sometimes The World Surprises You In A Good Way


The White House lit up in rainbow colors in honor of the legalization of same-sex marriage on June 27, 2015

On June 26, 2015, gay couples and lesbian couples at long last won the legal right to marry in the United States. (You can read all about the details of the historic Supreme Court ruling, and the national celebrations, here: Live Updates on #LoveWins: The Supreme Court Rules that Gay and Lesbian Couples Can Marry.) I’ve been following the public reactions, the incredible celebrations, and the heart-warming photographs of gay and lesbian couples getting married all over the country with tears in my eyes. Sometimes the world surprises you in a good way.

Fiction and storytelling, on every conceivable platform, can be a powerful part of changing people’s ideas about the world for the better and making good surprises like this happen.

Next time you’re trying to find a story idea, or deciding what to work on next, here’s a thought: think of one positive change you’d like to see the world. Now make that an integral part of your story.

You don’t have to write a story specifically about social change–just set your story in a world where that one good thing is a given. If you have to make your story science fiction or set it in an alternate world to justify the change, fine, do it. The more creativity the better.

What a refreshing change that would make from all of the stories that consciously or unconsciously reinforce and glamorize racism, sexism, homophobia, able-ism, regionalisms, classism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, etc.

As you were reading this, what was the good thing that spring first to your mind? Write it down. Now brainstorm at least five more. Great! Pick one that inspires some story or poetry ideas and get writing.

The world will be better for it.

PS What are some of your favourite stories (as always, in any medium) that illustrate positive social improvements like this? I’d love to hear your recommendations.