You know, I normally don’t discuss my opinions about the problems going on in the world today. I usually prefer to keep them to myself or talk amongst family and friends only. But gun violence has become an epidemic on a global scale and it’s impossible to ignore. It has become a part of our daily lives and turning my city of Chicago, into a warzone with no end in sight. So how do we cope with having to live in fear? We can’t run from it, we can’t wish it away, we can pray or buy a gun of our own for protection, but we need more. Being creative is a healthy escape to deal with so much negativity. In fact, I strongly believe that creativity can help deal with depression as well.
Some people keep journals or diaries and use them to release the anger, aggression, pain, and confusion that’s plaguing them in a world filled with the negativity that we can’t shield ourselves from. It can help you to cope if you have been a survivor of gun violence, if you know someone close to you who has been a victim of gun violence or if you have been exposed to so much depressing news about it that you feel you need to vent, cry or protest. Writing down how you feel can help release the stress and the tension of dealing with it. Too many times we think we need to keep our feelings bottled up inside, or maybe we don’t have anyone to talk about it with. Writing can help get the words out that you’ve been wanting to say but just had no opportunity to say it out loud.
Writing fiction is a great way to escape the madness of your surroundings. Coming up with an idea for a story and developing it into a book can give you focus and allow you to leave the issues outside your front door for a while and get lost in the creation of a short story or full-length novel. It can be about gun violence or something completely different. Whatever you want to write about, it doesn’t matter; just write.
I have always had a great love of writing poetry and have often used it as a way to express how I felt about things. If you are being affected by gun violence in your neighborhood or just in the world as a whole, poetry is a wonderful way to get your feelings out. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it doesn’t even have to rhyme. No one even has to see it if that makes you comfortable. But get those feelings down on some paper and you may learn something about yourself in the process.
The reason why I am advocating writing as a way to deal with this particular problem is that a lot of us are wondering what we can do to deal with an issue that seems to shake the world on a very regular basis, and it seems to be getting worse every day. Law enforcement can’t seem to stop it and the military won’t even try. Many cannot afford to move someplace safe and owning your own weapons may not be an option if you have a fear of guns or can’t get a permit. But if we can’t protect our bodies from gun violence, maybe we can at least protect our minds.
Writing can help keep it all in perspective and help us to get in touch with our deepest darkest fears and concerns during times when we feel helpless. Sometimes you have to be like the violinists on the sinking Titanic. Use your creativity to help you escape the mental tension caused by the chaos around you and it may even bring someone else relief as well if you choose to share it. But do whatever you have to do so that the negative things around you don’t cause a mental breakdown because once you’ve lost yourself, then there truly is no hope and the enemy has indeed won…
Have a great week…