Pronunciation Guide

Thursday, September 25, 2014

“X” is for xenophobia/xenocide

Firstly, a definition.

~Xenophobia: “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”
~Xenocide is basically what it sounds like: the murder/slaughter of anything strange or foreign.

When I started this story, I wanted the wars to begin for no physical reason. I didn’t want it to be a thing where someone from one of the races attacked someone from another and both sides retaliated, or someone fell in love with someone they shouldn’t have and their parents fought to keep them apart…

No. It had no basis; there is nothing anyone can point to and say, “This is when it began. This was the first act of war.”

Well, they can, but they’d be wrong. The war began long before the first drop of blood was shed. It began – as I honestly believe all war does – in the hearts.   

It was fear, which grew into hatred. Nothing more.

This, too, goes back to the quote from Cool Runnings: “We’re different. People are always afraid of what’s different.”

My races had absolutely no reason to fear or hate each other. In fact, though they don’t know it, they are all intimately connected to each other. But they looked different. They lived differently. They had different ways of speaking. And in hearts and minds, fear took root. A fear of the unknown, the uncertain. An insidious hiss of, “What if…?”

So that’s where it started.

And now, centuries later in the world, they are still at war, still enemies, and no one even knows why. They fight because that is just what they do. Before you start hating on my H-guys, remember this: they think they are protecting people from the real threat, the d-guys. They have been taught since they could learn that the d-guys are to be feared, hated, destroyed. That they are the enemy.

The d-guys have been taught the same thing toward the humans.

Fear is an attitude of the heart. That’s where it lives; that’s where it attaches itself. To change the world, one must change hearts. You can’t just kill off all the “bad guys”– because truly, the more I write this story, the more I realize that there aren’t bad guys. Oh, there are characters who do bad things, really bad things…but they think they’re doing what’s right. And even if they were absolutely evil, killing them off solves nothing: new bad guys will rise in their place. That’s the nature of the beast, as the saying goes.

Originally, I had it that my H-guys were arrogant when they said they were the saviors. Now I see that that are simply misguided. They want to be the saviors. They want to fight evil. The majority of them are men; they’re especially designed with a drive to protect and defend their loved ones.

Their hearts are in the right place.
They’re just fighting the wrong things.

What started as ignorance and fear has escalated into a thirst for genocide.
Where will it end? How will it end?

I’m not sure.
But I guess I must ask, where is your heart?