I love to write.
Writing is a versatile thing. Some people do it to get attention, to be funny or outrageous. Others to it to remind themselves true love and happy endings are possible. Some people do it to share some deep, profound message with the world. I do it to understand things better.
Real life is complicated, and no two people see it the same way. Most of the time, people focus on the things they know. Then, occasionally, someone starts thinking about something they don’t understand, explores a new idea, and discovers something wonderful, like a new law of physics.
Our culture tends to like the people who do this, well enough that we came up with a positive expression for it a long time ago: “thinking outside the box.” Paradoxically though, people are also a little wary of free thinkers, since most of us live inside our imaginary boxes most of the time, so we treat a person who thinks too far outside of our own boxes like he’s attacking our home. It takes a little adjustment before we can admit they might be right.
This isn’t to say that everything is relative. Some things are absolute. The world either revolves around the sun, or it doesn’t, and two people who disagree about that can’t both be right. The place of the earth in the universe is a basic fact that can be easily supported by evidence.
Unfortunately, most of the things we make judgments on, like the best way to raise a child, or to get a balanced diet, aren’t so basic. Some things that I find disgusting would have made perfect sense to most of my ancestors, or to people in other countries around the world. A lot of things look different from a different frame of reference. Does that mean I’m right, and everybody who disagrees with me is mistaken? Maybe, but more likely nobody is completely right; we’re just right about different things.
When I write stories, I’m usually trying to answer one question. How does the world look from another frame of reference? How would my life, my actions, look in another frame of reference? I don’t ask this question to prove that the world is a messed up place where nobody knows anything for real, just based on the idea that by looking at reality in a different way sometimes, we get a better idea of what it actually is.