Too many people I run into these days are calculating and out for as much as they can get, not caring who
they run over in their mad dash for success, or even for mere creature comforts. In other words, most of them would be sorted into Slytherin. There are times they do not even seem to profit, just to damage or defame someone else, and count it as some perverse victory.
I know - that sounds more like the angst-ridden plot of a young adult novel. And such jealousy, such competitive undercutting would ring true for that age group. But as adults we tell teens that bullying, cheating, lying about each other behind their backs - it will all get better when they grow up. But the truth is, it won't. We can only arm ourselves better to deal with it.
The handful of honorable men and women will attempt to surround themselves with others who possess the honor, honesty and integrity that they admire, and will remain shocked by the actions of the dishonorable people they encounter. The best attempt to change this that a writer can make is to honestly write about the dishonesty that young people can expect to find in the world they grow into, and to show them that the only possible way to change it is to hold the people with whom they associate to the same high standards they admire, and to shine the light on dishonor whenever they encounter it. Otherwise they (and we) will all remain the confused and frustrated teens we once were, who were shaken to the core when first we encountered injustice.
I am currently on a writing retreat with my writers group. I have been looking forward to this retreat since last year's retreat. I have eagerly been anticipating this time away from ordinary, day-to-day life to concentrate on revising my new young adult novel. And I'm making good progress. But at the same time, eating away at my concentration is outrageous injustice that my family is facing - due to the dishonor and malicious perjury of business associates. It infuriates me and it erodes the very idea that there is any sense of honor in the world we live in.
Every encounter with dishonor diminishes all that it touches - and makes it increasingly difficult to proceed with work and maintain one's own integrity. It is not fair to my family to put what they're going through out of my head in order to concentrate solely on my writing at this retreat, yet it's not fair to my book to let the injustice of the real world intrude into the world of my story. I'm trying to find a way to balance the two of them. I suppose I'll find out tomorrow, after our retreat ends, how well I've succeeded.