I’m cheating. I slapped a Preface onto this thing, because I’m not sure I’ve got enough left to make 50,000 without it, and I wasn’t sure where things were going next. When in doubt, add useless bits as filler – you can always cut them later, and the mere act of writing something can shake loose some useful bits.
After I got done playing with the Preface, I decided we needed a chapter in there discussing science. Science, after all, is damned important, and a lot of Christians get their asses kicked when they debate science with atheists. So in it goes.
For your excerpt today, I’m going to give you a bit from the potentially useless Preface, because the science stuff isn’t really ready for public consumption yet:
I know people who refuse to listen to good ideas simply because they came from cultures they don’t agree with. Let me give you an example:
I used to work at a bookstore. One day, a woman and her son came in. He ran wild through the store, knocking things off shelves, getting in other customers’ way, and refused to listen to her attempts to rein him in. I don’t usually comment on a person’s parenting, but she was fuming by the time she brought her purchases to the counter. She apologized for her son’s behavior. “I don’t know what to do with him.”
“He seems like he’s got a lot of energy that needs to be channeled into something,” I said. “You might want to get him in to a martial arts class.”
She gave me a look torn between horror and hope. “I’ve thought about that, but I don’t want him learning their religion.”
I had to bite back on a sarcastic retort. Instead, I explained that martial arts classes don’t teach religion, just a philosophy of physical and mental discipline that has nothing to do with gods.
Too many people have that habit of refusing things that would make their lives better just because it comes from the “wrong” source. And the world suffers because of it. In American politics, I see conservatives refusing to listen to ideas because they’re “liberal” – a ridiculous habit liberals sometimes repay in kind. Science gets thrown out by some because it doesn’t agree with their faith. It’s even getting hard to admit that you see anything good in Muslim culture now, because we’re at war with them.
It’s ridiculous. It’s cutting your nose off to spite your face, and I for one am sick of it. The world can’t afford this self-righteous, exclusionary thinking.
We need change. We need to get over a past in which we fortified ourselves in opposing camps and fight it out to the bitter end. We’ve survived it up until now, but the world is facing problems that are going to kill us if we don’t start working together.
And stuff. But I truly do believe that.
Anyway. Wrists are crackling, stomach is growling, and I need a few hours’ sleep before we try to hit ten thousand words for the weekend. Good luck, fellow NaNo sufferers, who are probably feeling as gritty as I am by now.