I want to write a book that is banned with long stretching arms of censorship for a catalogue of reasons as a rationale.
I want to write something that readers will instantly recognize as insightful, or that makes people take stock of their own environment, fishbowl, or personal perspectives and invisible but ingrained biases.
I want to write something that causes people to ask questions to those who hold power over them. I want young people to read it and allow themselves to throw away the nonsense idea that questioning a thought or concept is blasphemous simply because it’s in print or in a textbook. I want thought leaders to read it and question whether or not they’re the antagonist or the protagonist.
I want to write something that upsets people enough to take action. I want to stir the pots of cooking frogs and force them to leap out of their apathetic, slow burning pots.
I want to write something that shocks institutions because it challenges their authority over thought and information.
I want to write something that makes men in robes uncomfortable because it encourages questioning centuries-long authority based on “that’s how it has always been” and “it is not our place to question the divine.” I want people to voice the questions they were always afraid to ask and not settle for “mystery” because no one has a logical, or reasonable answer.
I want to write something that makes people ask themselves if they treat their friends or family members with the respect they deserve. Something that makes locker room comedy an embarrassment to everyone, not just the target of the joke, something that drives offenders to perhaps uncomfortable self assessment and evaluation.
I want to write something that will become outdated and irrelevant, and remembered only because of the impact it made on society and those who read it rather than because the issues will continue to be issues in the future.
I want to write something that people can burn ceremoniously because the challenges have been overcome.
It’s Banned Books Week, and I would be remiss if I didn’t point you to a list of some of the greatest works pulled from shelves for challenging ideologies, “values,” and social norms. Go do yourself a favor. Read a banned book. Then give it to someone you want to inspire.