We need stories to change the world. There is truth. There is vision. There are values-- They all come out of stories. Stories come first. You don't just come up with a value. It is rooted in stories and or myth, or not to quibble, the key writings of major religions. Those writings are built with stories.
I've seen that your ideas for writing novels could absolutely apply to writing about change and even in writing in terms of coming up with the words for the campaigns and what have you. Have you ever done anything with any of those areas?
Rob: Can you give some examples?
Donald: Yeah, gosh, you got a couple days? There are many, many, many examples like that. Let's take some examples of more entertaining kinds of stories. Gosh, I'm looking across my office at stacks and stacks of books here. Near the top is, Like Water for Elephants, a very popular novel from a couple years ago. Very entertaining book too, very funny at times and yet that book took us deep, deep, deep inside the world of circuses and traveling circuses that's almost forgotten now and told us a wonderful romantic story in the midst of all that. But it's really a story about human struggle, about identity, it's about animals. It has an awful lot of relevance that may not be sitting right there on the surface of the prose but I think it's there underneath and I think it has to be there otherwise contemporary readers wouldn't respond to it. They wouldn't feel what the character's feel. They wouldn't come away with a strong impression of the story. It has to be relevant. It has to speak to our times. It has to say something that we all feel or even better, something that we feel and knew; a respect for elephants. It sounds like a small thing but in that story it's very powerful and gets us to look at the animals in our world in a different way.
Rob: Okay. Pause"
Donald: Your silence may suggest that you think I'm off my rocker here.
Rob: No, what's interesting is we just had some coverage of protesters protesting at the local entertainment center about the Barnum and Bailey Circus (actually, it was Ringling brothers) because of their treatment of elephants. So let's say that a writer was to apply your approaches to the issue of the treatment of elephants in today's circuses.
Ringling Brothers Beats Animals: PETA's Undercover Investigation PETA's 2009 investigation of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus found that workers were beating, whipping, and hooking elephants and striking tigers.
(Image by YouTube) Permission Details DMCA