During Turbulent Times of War

Somewhere down the line, there is a misunderstanding, or a desire for greed.

During times of war, every single person is affected. Whether there are two countries fighting each other, or a nation having a war internally, war consumes everyone’s life in different ways. Today, I want to expound on this topic: of war. It’s a dirty word, marked with the countless stains of past blood and present sorrows. It’s an experience that nobody likes to acknowledge, but everyone knows it exists. Whether we try to ignore it, or bring light to it, it never gets better. But the one thing I realized is the ultimate truth of war, is that it begins with a lie.

Somewhere down the line, there is a misunderstanding, or a desire for greed.

This is summarily how a war begins at the very core of its origin. Whether you wish to accept this as fact is a personal question you must ask yourself. But the fact of the matter is that our realities are shaped by this unfortunate event.

In particular, I want you to imagine for a moment a small town in the middle of a peaceful nation. Imagine what the lives of these people must have been like before war even touches their lives. I’m not asking you to sympathize, what I’m trying to get you to imagine is the scenario. Once you do, you will better understand what I’m trying to express.

In this little town, there are all sorts of different people with their own unique personalities. For the most part, everyone gets along and actually enjoys each other’s company at times. These people are humble and aren’t subjected to such injustice or cruelty. Of course, they are likely resentful towards any taxes they must pay to their siphoning government which insists that all the money is going towards programs of public interest. Of course, not every day is a good day. But overall, everyone gets along and has no major complaints which warrant a coup d’état. So naturally, these people have no real reason to truly hate each other or even those who rule over their lives.

That is, until a neighboring nation invades their homeland. Or even their own country imploding, politically, from the inside-out.

The people begin to hear word of discord on bordering lines, they begin to hear whispers of terrible and tragic fates. This is just the start of the hard days to come.

Once, everyone understood one another and understood how to be a part of a community. But now, slowly but surely, everyone begins to panic silently. Their unvoiced fears begin to crawl through their heart and take over their mind. This is the next stage of what happens to a once normal and unhindered people.

As time progresses more, the people begin to see signs of this war which looms ever the closer. They begin to hear the sounds of distant mayhem, the sound of inhumane suffering. This is when the people begin to either stand as one, or fall apart at the seams, and turn against one another. This is the major turning point in any war; for the innocent people caught in the crosshairs of such turbulent times.

Ideally, it would make sense for the outcome to be the same every time. People in a town, or even city, should always come together and unite as a front against whatever injustice slithers its way towards their community. But, as life has shown us, sometimes this isn’t the case.

When this isn’t the case, that is when the lives of people truly change for the worse. People lose something inside of themselves. They lose their humanity. They become savages, understandably afraid of the world and weary of anything that opposes them in any form possible. We must understand, as a people, that this is the harsh reality of war sometimes. Sometimes, there are no heroes. There are no true or honest saviors who have the best intentions of these poor humans subjected now to such crueler fates.

The unfortunate truth of most wars, is that the mass majority of a society may never truly know what caused it. They may be oblivious to the fact that greed, from those who are in the positions of power, got the better of their leaders. Perhaps it was resources which inspired a nation to go into another foreign country. Or, perhaps it was to gain new territory for an empire. Either way, the people during any wartime are likely feed partial truths with the coupling of partial lies. This kind of façade confuses and off-puts truth seekers from actually finding the real reason as to what caused a war to begin with.

But not all hope is lost.

During these times of war, this is when men and women become tested. They become tempered and aware of their environment and of the true realities of the world – for both its horrors, and shockingly also, for its beauties as well. This is when people begin to realize what life is like at its most basic level, such insight surely makes a people the wiser and more willing to admit to the harsher side of life in the world. Of course, like before, people can react to this internal change in one of two manners. They can either grow and become stronger from this devastating experience, or, they can close-up inside and discard the entire world from their minds and from their hearts. But either way, the experience of war has changed them whether they want to admit this or not.

War affects us all to some level in the modern day world. We have, at some point, heard of atrocities unthinkable and of horrible acts of cruelty which dismantle our very perception of “other” people outside of our own comfort zones. But the truth of the matter is simple; it all goes back to what I once stated before.

Somewhere down the line, there is a misunderstanding, or a desire for greed.

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

Gaining New Perspectives in Writing

We show only the parts of ourselves which we want the world to see, and this is what makes perspective so intriguing.

When you write, a lot of the times there are many different angles to look at any given situation you’re focused on. Whether you’re writing a non-fiction or fiction book, you’ll usually find yourself wondering which way is the best manner in which to view a topic. It’s always important to see something from multiple viewpoints, you never want to look at a piece of writing and wonder why you’re even writing it.

Some of the best methods of gaining a new perspective in your writing, is to imagine what your life would be like in different people’s positions. Better yet, you can also imagine what the world must feel like on a daily basis. Just imagine what the life of a mouse can be like. Or how a clock ticks. The possibilities are endless with this type of thinking when you’re a writer. There’s no end to creativity, the only limit is yourself. Never be too afraid, always question the validity of a person, a situation, or even the state of our world. The more you start to question, the more you begin to realize that everything in life is permitted. With this viewpoint, you can better understand a lot of the current world affairs in today’s globalized society.

A defining moment in any writer’s life, is characterized by a sense of awakening, or even a sense of understanding herself/himself in the world and where they stand in it. It can be a truly humbling, and sometimes even terrifying, realization when you begin to understand and come to terms with a lot of the realities of our existence and what it even means to be human in this ever-changing environment. To grasp your own identity is the single best thing you can ever do, not only for yourself, but for those around you who truly love you and cherish you for who you are as a human being in the world.

On a more transparent note, I want to let you know, that there are crueler fates out there in the world. Perspective also helps you to heighten your sense of awareness of this global injustice. Because in some manner, you will realize that even if you’re just one person in a sea of others, you can change the world, even on a micro level. Your actions, especially during times of hardship and uncertainty in your society, can help to further strengthen the bonds and connections you have with those around you.

Perspective of different people, different life-forms, and different ideologies, is probably the best tool to have if you are a writer. You’re able to understand so many otherwise mysterious concepts in mainstream society. You’re able to better analyze why something happened, and what caused it.

It’s kind of like being a detective, but the only thing is, no one in the entire world knows you’re paying attention.

If you choose to be naïve or willingly ignorant, I cannot judge you. I used to judge people on being ignorant, back when I was a teenager. But now that I’m an adult, I’ve come to understand that everything (and I mean everything) has a reason for being the way it is; and those things don’t necessarily change all the time. Some things can stay the “same” for a very long time. Inevitably, however, things do change. Whether it be in minutes, hours, days, months, years, or centuries – everything eventually succumbs to change. From people acting in peculiar or serious ways, to the very actions conducted by those in positions of power; to the differences between you and I, to the similarities two very different people might share – everything works according to what is being reflected or shown.

We show only the parts of ourselves which we want the world to see, and this is what makes perspective so intriguing.

I could go on further, but my time is limited today. I have a lot of work to do, and so little time to finish it. If anything, I’ll leave you with one simple thought: hold the deepest parts of yourself close to your soul, but let the world see you for who you truly are. In this way, you can better build your own character through the different tribulations and trials out there in our shared environment.

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

Where You Can Find Inspiration

Make it happen, and the world will open up to you…

Inspiration comes in many forms. Ultimately, when you really think about it, there are many different kinds of inspiration. There are the sad kinds of inspirations, there are the happy kinds that make you smile to yourself, and then there are the kinds that really just make you ponder about life in general. It’s almost contagious, infections to the very soul.

In a way, if you permit yourself to open up to the world, even if it’s dangerous and risky to do such a thing, you end up learning more not only about yourself but also more about the environment of different places around the world. Traveling helps, and unfortunately, traveling cost a lot of money. Not everyone, myself included, can afford to travel to “exotic” locations (I put “exotic” in quotations because such places are not exotic to the humans and inhabitants living there). Yet even still, there are numerous ways for you to find inspiration.

Take for example, a silent moment to yourself. Such moments like these can help you further expand on imagination, to seize moments of otherwise escapable memories. These are the times when you can use your mind as an advantage over anyone who gets the luxury of traveling and garnering inspiration from their travels. Undoubtedly, some of the best places are not even found here on this world, but in other worlds; other places.

But if you don’t write fiction (or if you do and it takes place here on Earth), you can still use this method of gaining inspiration. Our minds are amazing structures, undoubtedly remembering even the smallest of details or creating new information altogether. The brain is the single most amazing source of understanding and comprehending life and the many different complexities to our existence.

In essence, there are a variety of countless new ideas that come to us, even when we’re not consciously thinking about writing. Inspiration is not only found around us, but more so, within us. We must not underestimate our capabilities to find inspiration of hope, of sorrow, and of miracles within our minds. As we observe the world, and thus, observe our place within it, we begin to better understand the very concepts which may have once eluded us once before when we thought we were “naïve” or “unaware” of the world around us.

For the truth of the matter is much more different. If you allow yourself to have an open mind, anything’s possible. The only thing required on your part, is to be determined and persistent enough to pursue that which you desire.

Make it happen, and the world will open up to you…

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

Video Games Have Epic Plotlines Too

In a real sense, you actually get the freedom to imagine what could be, and what is in fact true.

It may not seem like it, but the stories told through video games are actually quite astounding.

Video games take you on quite the adventure. There could be a variety of different perspectives shared in a storyline, development of characters is subtler yet vastly more detail-oriented when dissected, and there is quite an amazing variety in the different plights and issues each storyline presents.

Probably my favorite genre, or type, of video game I enjoy the most is that of Japanese Role Playing Games (or JRPG’s for short). I also enjoy regular-old RPG’s, (Role Playing Games), but it certainly has its differences when compared to JRPG’s. In Japanese Role Playing Games, there’s more of an emphasis on the dramatic effects of story-telling devices. A death of a character in a JRPG has a more in-depth moment of clarity then that of RPG’s, but with that said; RPG’s also have unique ways of killing off characters (sometimes, it can be a bit sadistic). JRPG’s, with a few exceptions, are more concerned with each character and their developments throughout the story arc, and showcase a very deep sorrow/meaning on a character’s death when it happens.

A great example of this can be seen in Final Fantasy VII. In this game, there is a character named Aeris/Aerith (depending on translation of the game in your region). SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t played this game (even though it’s been out well over 2 decades) please don’t read on.

Anyways, in the game, it builds her up as one of the core main characters involved in the story of the game. You get to know her thoroughly enough to understand that she’s quite a unique individual with an important past lineage. But due to unfortunate events, the game’s main villain, named Sephiroth, kills her about midway in the game’s entire story. She dies in a very dramatic manner. While she is praying to the “Life Stream”, Sephiroth kills her as he jumps down from the sky and slides the katana he wields, painfully into her back. The player, who is left speechless and wondering, what has just happened, mourns the passing of her untimely death throughout the reminder of the entire game. In fact, she is still mentioned a few times throughout the remaining story by the other main characters, as they ponder and reflect on Aeris/Aerith’s life. (She even makes a small reappearance in the game towards the end).

Of course, there is more to the story as well of Final Fantasy VII, but the point I’m trying to make, is that the storyline is not only visually effective, but it also is physically-affecting to the player. After all, any little thing that happens to the main cast of characters affects each player controlling the characters throughout the many battles and encounters in ways indescribable. You would have to play a JRPG (or RPG) to fully understand. Unlike a movie, where you are just a viewer of the film; video games actually make you feel like the death happened due to the fact that you’re controlling the characters throughout the storyline. Your actions, sometimes, can affect the outcome of certain character’s fates.

Video games are interactive, creating a deeper bond with you and the storyline being told. A great example of this can be found in the Turn-Based/Tactics JRPG game series entitled Fire Emblem. If you happen to find yourself playing a Fire Emblem game, you will find that your decisions on where to move characters during battle sequences, could very well get them killed. But unlike in some video games, where a character can come back after they faint in battle, in Fire Emblem, once a character dies they die for good. (Of course, in modern renditions of the series, there’s an option in the beginning to play on Casual mode, which is more forgiving. But nonetheless, avid fans of Fire Emblem usually play on Classic mode).

The death of a character in Fire Emblem effects how the story of the overall game is told to you. So each player can have their own unique experience playing it, since there are dozens of characters playable within any Fire Emblem game.

In a real sense, you actually get the freedom to imagine what could be, and what is in fact true.

Conclusively, as a writer, such storylines like the ones aforementioned certainly have helped my writing throughout the years. I’ve come to truly understand the importance of character development and also the important effect I should leave a reader with when a character dies. After all, getting to the end of a book is only half the journey; for the journey itself is what really matters…

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel