Appearing in Leviticus, the concept of a scapegoat is that of two goats — while one is sacrificed, the other is released into the wilderness to carry the sins of the community. Family dynamics and the process of development can lead to the scapegoating of a family member, as someone unfairly blamed for the errors of the group. How does a process such as this taint an individual’s worldview, faith, or trust in others?
How important is the organization of society when it comes to individual mental health? The following allegorical short story addresses the impact of ideological brainwashing, its self-perpetuating cycle, its destruction of its opponents, and the pushback necessary to create a balanced society composed of free-thinking individuals.
The following flash fiction/script originated from a nightmare that left the writer in a panic. How does the act of creation serve to transform negative experiences into positive ones? Is art the defining feature of humanity — the primary difference between us and all other animals? Though art has the potential to be dark and disturbing, it often exalts features of our human condition unlike any other act. What can we learn about ourselves through the art we create from confusion and suffering?
What roles do hope and expectation play in our lives? How can social obligations impact individual fulfillment? Can hopelessness be utilized as a life strategy to attain serenity? “Nobody’s Favorite” is a short story addressing the use of language and the nature of hope in humans’ self-perception.
There are many external hindrances to success throughout an individual’s lifetime, but, often, internal roadblocks can keep us from being who we aspire to be. How does fear of failure or survivor’s guilt factor into our self-confidence, self-esteem, or desire to achieve? How do fear and shame keep us immobile? Is it easier to accept mediocrity rather than take a chance and risk disaster? This story interprets a well-known Greek myth for a modern audience, reminding us there is a time and place for fearless acts if we are to reach our true potential.
In this story, the protagonist has been battling a chronic condition for many years. There has been ups and down, but he is faced with a decision about freedom and living which could have drastic implications. All will die, but how? All will suffer, but how? All have the opportunity to find freedom in some thing, or some action, but the implication and vastness of the human freedom may be defined only in the individual’s heart.
How do we keep our emotionality in check? As a species, what regulatory mechanisms do we employ to balance negative and positive experiences? Does society influence our psychological balancing act, or is this primarily an individual responsibility?
Is the impulse to commit suicide born of anger and aggression or desperation and fear? Can we make a generalizable claim regarding the reasons an individual takes his/her own life? Do we ever really understand the things we do, or are we just rationalizing our actions and the actions of others after the fact?