No More War, Please*

ANZACDay2016One of the best things about the crime fiction community is that we can all put aside the things that could divide us, and we can learn from each other. We all have different backgrounds, different cultures, different values, different politics, and so on. And instead of letting those things come between us, we are enriched by them. We all have different takes on books, different kinds of books we like and don’t like, and so on. But that only gives each of us a broader perspective. At the end of the day, I am a better person, and certainly a better-informed reader, because of the other people in this wonderful crime fiction community.

As I post this, it’s ANZAC Day, a day to remember those who gave their lives as part of the ANZAC forces. As I think about those who died, and of their families, I can’t help but imagine what a much better world we’d have if other people took lessons from the worldwide crime fiction community. Oh, don’t worry; I’m not completely naïve. I don’t have too many illusions about global reality. You can’t if you write crime fiction. But think what we’ve accomplished as a crime fiction community. We disagree – sometimes strongly. We don’t all see the world in the same way. And perhaps privately we get annoyed with each other. And we talk about death and murder a lot. But guess what? We’re friends. We work with each other. We learn from each other. We respect one another. We have commonalities that bind us. And I’ve seen how we all support each other when something goes very well – or very badly.

That’s one reason I feel so fortunate to be included in the crime fiction community. And it’s one reason I always take time out on this blog to reflect on ANZAC Day. So many Australians and Kiwis have been kind to me, and I’ve learned so much from my Kiwi and Aussie friends. You know who you are, and I hope you know how grateful I am to you. So, although I’m neither Australian nor a New Zealander, I stand with those who are, in remembrance of too many young people who lost their lives too soon. Their loss is a tragedy for us all.

Think what it might be like if everyone could work together, help each other, and learn from each other, the way we do in the crime fiction community. Perhaps if more people did that, there’d be less awful loss of life. Too idealistic? Quite possibly. Never gonna happen? Perhaps. But why not try? Wouldn’t it be a good way to remember those who died, by working to make sure that others don’t have to?

 

 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Bronski Beat’s No More War.

32 Comments

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32 responses to “No More War, Please*

  1. Like you, I love being part of the crime fiction community, and I love the thought that we are more interested in what we have in common than anything that might divide us. Great post, thoughtful as ever.

    • Thank you, Moira. And I agree that one of the best things about the crime fiction community is exactly that: our sense of community and common interest and purpose.

  2. You are so right, Margot. I love this community, too. It never ceases to amaze me. Like this post, for example. I’m covered in goose bumps. Amen!

  3. What a very thoughtful and well put post, Margot. I adore our crime writing community. It’s kind, generous, giving, supportive, funny, and even grumpy because it’d be strange if we never were. But, we’re always there for each other as you say. A wonderful post.

    • Thank you, Rebecca. I couldn’t agree more about the crime fiction community. It is indeed kind, generous, and giving, and the members are so supportive, whether it’s a grumpy time or a happy time. We help each other and we learn from each other. I couldn’t ask for a better community. The world really could learn from this group.

  4. As a guest it is not my place to evaluate the crime fiction community in public, as I, a non-member, do not qualify for that. I appreciate the attitude on ANZAC, as the Western Democracies wouldn’t last long without their soldiers, and the families which allow them a life worth protecting.

    • You are right, André, about the ANZAC forces. We all owe so much to those soldiers and their families. That’s another reason for which I always take some time on ANZAC Day to think of those who were lost. Least I can do.

  5. Kathy D.

    The goals for peace and understanding, brotherhood and sisterhood, and finding ways other than war to resolve conflicts, are very good and worth struggling for in every way.
    And who doesn’t love the crime fiction writer/reader/blogger community? A wonderful bunch from whom one learns every single day. (My brain is full after a day of reading blogs and comments — in a good way.)

    • I agree, Kathy: the crime fiction community is a fantastic one. Like you, I always learn, with every visit to every blog. And yes, the people are fantastic. The goals of peace and an end to war may be lofty, but I think they’re worth pursuing, too. We’ve lost far, far too many lives already.

  6. Margot: When you write of Anzac Day I think of the powerful anti-war song, And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. The song of sacrifice moves me deeply every time I hear it.

  7. So well said, Margot. Through this wonderful community I have learned more about different countries, different authors and books, and especially discovered new friends through we’ve never meet and probably never will.

  8. Well said Margot – just chatting to my brother out there in Oz about it in fact.

  9. I agree! I’m glad you remind us each year (those of us who aren’t from the lands down under) of this commemoration. My dad and his three brothers fought in WW2 and one was lost. Although I am completely and utterly a pacifist, I so honour those who with their sacrifice allow me the right to say so.

    • Thanks, Jan. Like you, I’m a pacifist. But I also am deeply grateful and humble at the sacrifices that people like your family made to protect our rights. And I mourn the loss of so many who died far too soon. I hope someday that sacrifices like that won’t be necessary any more.

  10. Lovely post, Margot! I suspect the internet is bringing many people together and helping them to understand each other every day. It may take a few decades yet, but I have hope that eventually we’ll see that our similarities outweigh our differences.

    • Oh, I truly hope so, too, FictionFan. And you’re right; the Internet is making a big difference in helping us all to work together and understand each other better. And thanks for the kind words.

  11. I’ve made some lovely friends – both on- and off-line, through crime-writing – and you are one of them, Margot.

  12. Lovely post Margot with sentiments I suspect most of us share. The world would be such a better place if we could accept (or better still applaud) each other’s differences!

    • Thank you, Cleo. And you put that beautifully: it would be so much better if we could embrace our differences and work with our commonalities. I think we’d be better for it.

  13. mudpuddle

    tx for remembering, Margo. a thoughtful and much appreciated post…

  14. I’ve always believed that just because something is impossible (e.g. world peace), doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try for it. Thanks for these kind words from one of your Aussie friends and admirers, Margot.

  15. Wonderful post, Margot. Fortunately, more than a majority of the world’s people cherish peace and goodwill among nations.

  16. A very lovely post, Margot. It is nice to read an optimistic view of our future.

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