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September 10, 2019

In today’s cancel culture, redemption seems like an impossible goal. As I was sitting at the breakfast table sipping coffee the other morning, I thought about recent TV shows I’ve been watching. It hit me how many books I’ve read not only lately, but over the years about redemption.

Folks, countless plots in literature are all about redemption.

Why is it that it’s so easy to write about redemption, yet in real life, especially lately, all of a sudden, there’s no such thing?


Redemption is a classic plot device. Hands down, it’s woven into the thread of countless stories.

Hero comes from a downtrodden past. They reached some pinnacle, did someone or something wrong, crashed and now the story begins. They have to work themselves out of the gutter.

The story, in one way or another is all about redemption.

Am I wrong?

I recently read a book by David Baldacci called Redemption. When it’s right in the title, well…


The story may not be directly about redemption at all. It’s possibly a minor plot thread. Maybe it’s just a feel-good sideline added in to sweeten the pie.

Get it? Sweeten the pie?

Doesn’t it feel good when someone redeems him or herself?


I’m not bringing this up for political reasons but there have been a lot of people who have done some bad stuff in the news lately. Their offenses have ranged from seriously bad to minor discretions of youth.

The newsies, talking heads and others are either digging in or questioning how long that individual has to hide their head in the sand before they can come out and play again.

Are they banned for life?

It seems like no matter how minor the offense, some people just can’t get a break.

On the other hand, some who have committed pretty bad stuff are given unwarranted breaks.

Is all this due to money, fame, politics, or a combination?

The reason I bring up this ugly real-life stuff is simple. It’s not my personal feelings. It’s because it doesn’t seem like literature reflects that at all…well, most of it.


When it comes to redemption, at least from the genres I’ve read so far, I have yet to come across any fiction that reflects the true state of reality as it exists today. Not only the cancel culture of society as it stands right now, but the banned who should be truly banned and who should never be redeemed.

Those that should be locked away and the key thrown away, or the ones banned for life?

Literature is exaggerated reality. It’s not real life. Then again, I don’t read books for real life, so maybe that’s the whole point.

Maybe I don’t want to read the ugly truth. I want to read about worlds that take me away from the true ugliness that’s the real world.

Eventually, there will be books out there that exaggerate the reality of the cancel culture. They’ll be the upcoming thrillers.


While forgiveness and redemption is nothing new, neither is unforgiveness.

I could cite examples in the past where someone did something unforgiveable and they never recovered. It’s old news when you get right down to it. It’s just that there seems to be more of it now with the various movements going on around us in society.

Now THAT’s great fodder for stories to come.

Happy writing!

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