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November 20, 2013

Scott Wyatt: What Motives Me To Write

My interest in creative writing predates the start of my first novel, Beyond the Sand Creek Bridge (2012), which was thirty years in the making. At present, I’m pleased to be riding a robust wave of creative energy. It has been a long time coming, but it’s here now, and I feel blessed to have the time and capacity to make the most of it.

Dimension MAs passionate as I am about writing, I’m even more passionate about an idea that came to me out of the blue in 1985, following a trip to the former Soviet Union. This is the notion that the moral dimension in human interactions and behaviors—how we treat one another—is shaped as much by the content of our awareness of other as by those rules, mores, symbolical thoughts, religious tenets, and prescriptions that we call our own, or that we embrace throughout our lives. Yes, I know that’s a mouthful! At its core, though, is this idea: that human beings—all of us—are both different and the same (in materialistic terms, we are made up of both human differences and human “samenesses”); that, when we encounter one another, we are drawn to and mesmerized by the human differences we see in “other”; and that, for a whole host of reasons, we formulate our moral commitments to other based exclusively on difference awareness: my family/your family, my tribe/your tribe, my ethnic group/your ethnic group, my nation/your nation. The content of our awareness of other, in other words, which gives rise to the moral impulse, is difference awareness alone, not a combination of difference awareness and sameness awareness. The compassionate impulse, which is the fruit of sameness awareness, is lost.

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This is more than can be conveyed adequately in a paragraph. You’ll find this theme developed in attorney Jason McQuade’s closing argument in Beyond the Sand Creek Bridge, and again in “The Sanori Flag Debate,” the appendix to my just-released Dimension M (2013). 

And what about you?

~About the Author~

Scott Wyatt, a native of Sandpoint, Idaho, earned degrees at Stanford and the University of Washington before entering the practice of law in 1976. He founded the companion flag project in 1999 “to elevate and sustain public awareness of all that human beings have in common, without speaking to, or diminishing the importance of, our differences and diversity.” Wyatt has traveled throughout the world on behalf of the initiative, and the companion flag has been adopted at schools and universities in over fifteen countries. In 2012, Wyatt released his first novel, Beyond the Sand Creek Bridge, which follows the experiences of Chinese immigrants building the Northern Pacific railroad through the Idaho Territory in 1882.
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