50 Shades of Responsibility

For over a month now, I’ve been seeing post after post, on blogs, on Facebook, on Google+, and elsewhere, berating the recent movie release 50 Shades of Grey. People have observed the immorality, the condoning of abuse and unhealthy relationships, and the just bad storytelling. They complain that the film and the book that came before it are twisting God’s gift of sexuality and putting women in danger.

I don’t disagree with any of these viewpoints. They are certainly valid, and they need to be stated.

But here’s my question for you — what are you doing about it?

Ranting about how bad something is on the internet may dissuade one or two people from going to see the film, but I doubt it does much other than that. In fact, it probably mostly just adds fuel to the fire, from what I’ve seen. Instead, why not do something proactive? If you’re a writer, why not redirect that energy into telling stories that are pure, true, lovely, honest, praiseworthy, and of good report? If you’re a filmmaker, why don’t you take that passion and turn it into a compelling movie that shows a different picture of what love is supposed to be? And if you’re not called to be a storyteller at all, that doesn’t leave you without a practical weapon. Every day that you live out and show the world a true, kind, and healthy view of romance, you are living out a story that is the very opposite of toxic media.

That’s what I seek to do in my writing.

That’s what the makers of Old-Fashioned did by releasing their film showing a respectful and pure love story.

And that’s what thousands of happily married couples do every day that they show love to one another.

There’s a time to call out evil. But there’s also a time to get off our soap boxes, and do good. Each in our own way, but we as storytellers bear a uniquely powerful responsibility to shine a light in the world rather than simply using our words to curse the darkness.

We don’t need to give evil things as much of our attention and energy as we do. I believe with all my heart that the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon will die much faster from the effects of our truth and purity than from all the opinionated Facebook posts we can write.

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