Monday, August 27, 2012

Shaking Loose the Letters & Arranging Them on Paper

After a fairly long absence from writing, here I am, writing in my blog. The thing is, it is not so much an absence from writing as much as absence of sharing my writing.

My reasons vary, and I will share them with you. But the main thing I have come to realize is that I write for myself, not for others. Surely, that is selfish and perhaps, best kept to myself. However, the other thing I realized is that by not sharing, I was being unfair to myself.

Part of the problem has been a bit of a personal writing drought, in that I haven't been writing nearly as much as I did before, for various reasons. But one big reason for the drought was that I didn't feel free to share what was on my mind for fear of offending others.

"To thine own self be true," said William Shakespeare. (The fact that some of what he is credited with has since come under dispute is besides the point. He's given credit, so we won't discuss it further at this point.) What does this have to do with anything?

Many say they like my writing, that it inspires them and makes them feel better. Lovely. Good to hear. But you know what? Sometimes, I don't feel inspiring. I feel grumpy. Or angry, cynical, or even riled up! Injustice makes me want to jump on a soapbox and spout off my opinions. A fear of height would require a short soapbox, but one that would still work. The problem is, there are those that don't want to accept these thoughts from me. It's not goodness and light, or humor, or entertaining stories about my famiy. Worse, it might not be their opinion, so they don't want to hear it.

In an effort to be considerate and mindful of everyone's feelings, I neglected my own. It didn't stop me from having thoughts, just from sharing them. Who knows? Some of the thoughts might have made a difference in someone's day. There have been times when I had calm, peaceful, insightful thoughts. But considering that people think about things happening around them, then some of my thoughts would have been controversial.

But old Will was right. I must be true to myself. My suggestion is that if you start reading something that you disagree with, realize you have two options. You can either continue reading on the off chance that you might learn something or see something from a point of view you had not considered. The other option is to stop reading. It certainly doesn't matter to me which you choose.  So, I vow to get back to sharing my thoughts... whatever they may be.  You can read, or not.

As usual, I welcome comments and discussion. Unlike some people, I do not fear a healthy discussion of issues - and have been known to change my mind as a result.  But there are some ideals I hold dear and things that go against these ideals probably won't change my mind.

I respect others' rights to differing opinions, as long as they have reasons for them. But when reasons are based on wrong information, it gets me riled up. My sense of "righting the injustices of the world" kicks in and I defend against things. I don't like it when I see people lying and spreading around preposterous rumors - no matter which side does it. It's a stupid tactic and I hate seeing people so gullible that they don't question it and check for accuracy. Disagreements are fine. Slander and libel are not.

So, for now at least, I'm back. 

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