Most of us have experienced some traumatic events or crises in our lives. This year was a challenging one; it brought pandemic madness with prolonged isolating lockdowns and economic repercussions, exposure to war, political uprisings, and natural disasters.
Crises are a part of life that may be used as a springboard for change. Interestingly, the written word “crisis” when penned in Chinese, is composed of two sinograms. One character represents danger and the other opportunity or change, revealing the inherent duality of this condition.
The 2021 issue of the 21st Century Text is titled Challenge Change Resilience. “When the winds of change blow,” a Chinese proverb advises, “some people build walls, others build windmills.” The wisdom of these words is timeless since it seems true that the only constant in our world is change. The choice is ours: resist or adapt.
The many ways that people leverage their personal challenges to achieve change are the threads woven into the stories before you. We proudly present this acrostic for your entertainment.
Experience: A young Marine is hit by a train and miraculously walks away without any physical injury. However, the spiritual ripples of his near-death experience continue to guide him even 50 years later. The Train, written by David Larsen, is his personal reflection on the meaning of life, death, and what comes in between.
Difficulty: In Queries Solve an Editing Impasse, Shalva Ben-David realizes how asking the right questions during editing unlocks the mystery of the author’s mission and helps to “navigate the labyrinth of confusion.”
Imagination: In A Kibbutz Re-Imagined, Batya Greenman chronicles the creative ideas generated by a kibbutz community in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic and proposes a blueprint for the foundation of an ideal society.
Truth: For editors, balancing the equation between remaining truthful to the author’s words and producing a professional document can be challenging, and even more so when editing and publishing posthumously. Revisions by Miriam Mandel Levi explores how involvement in creative forms of self-expression can yield solutions for healing and comfort to the bereaved.
Obstacle: Addressing obstacles in written communication is a fundamental editing goal. My First Editing Experience is Bonnie Weinberg’s journal of how overcoming professional hurdles paved the way to avenues of personal growth.
Resilience: Panic Master is Shantha Bunyan’s vivid and captivating account of a scuba diver’s personal journey to overcome her fears of diving to become a dive master. Through hard work and resilience, she earns the ability to help others explore the wonders of the sea.
In this journal, our authors and editors have collaborated, taken pen to paper, tapped keys, rewrote, and revised. Thoughtfully delivered are chronicles of change that have been fortified by the resolve of truth and unbound by the opportunities of imagination.
Along the way, we hope that we may have built a few windmills.
T h e E d i t o rs