The pandemic is somewhat abated here, but in other places around the globe, it’s still raging. Americans tend to think of it as “over” because we’re so parochial. The rest of the world is out of sight and, so, out of mind for the majority of Americans. And no one else on the planet is more important than us.
I don’t agree with that stance, and there are a lot of other people who don’t. But we do oftentimes seem to be in the minority.
While looking for a discussion topic to write for work, I came across this acceptance speech by Ursula LeGuin for the 2014 National Book Award. She names the plagues of our times, long before the biological plague, COVID-19, appeared. And she calls on artists—particularly writers, since that’s her art—to redress the wrongs, to write of freedom and hope. In her words [time stamp 1:24–2:19],
I have loved Ursula LeGuin since I first read her Wizard of Earthsea trilogy when I was, I don’t remember how old. Somewhere in my early teens, I suspect. I think I’ve read everything she ever wrote since. If you haven’t read her yet, you’re missing out on a brilliant mind and impeccable writer. She is one of my heroes.