Periodically, as a writer, I get stuck. I have ideas too long for FB and too short for a full blog post, but I need to get them out of my head so I can move on to other thoughts and ideas. So here are a few…
Public versus Private: I think the line between these two has become blurred. Some share ad nauseam the most inappropriate things in a public forum. Other times, private things have to be dealt with in public space because the pace of modern life is too rapid. To deal with this, society has to learn the art of minding one’s own business. If you see or hear something that offends you, lump it and walk away. Assume that the person has a much more difficult life than yours and needs some TLC from their conversation partner. Pretend the person is in a special “aloneness cone” that gives them a little bit of freedom. The caveat is if it sets a bad example for younger kids or if it truly causes harm (and I don’t mean emotional distress at having to hear a different idea). If we don’t have the true freedom to express ourselves within limits, we become ingrown and emotionally constipated, a volcano waiting to explode, the results of which could be even worse than just having a bad idea or a badly expressed idea floating in space. However, if you have to have a difficult conversation, be aware of those around you and try to craft the situation so it causes the least distress for all involved.
Writers: The Good Book has a line about a prophet being without honor in his hometown. The job of a prophet was to bring a message that educated the people about God’s thoughts. Sometimes, you could get into real trouble as a prophet (one even ended up at the bottom of a well). So it is with writers. Writers are the modern prophets. It is the job of a writer to explore issues and ideas from every direction, to push the boundaries of thought, expression, and social rules, mostly for the sake of making things better. Not everyone is very happy about having different ideas in abundance.
The Importance of Stories: As referenced in the bit on writers, a writer’s job is to explore issues and ideas. Sometimes, the best way to explore an idea is a story. In putting the problem into the lives of distant characters considered not real, the writer shows a good or bad way to handle the problem, thus teaching a lesson without it being distressing for the lesson’s recipient. I firmly believe all literature has value: it contains the patterns of life and responses to life, both wise and foolish. Even the holy books of other faiths can be viewed as stories that can teach. In understanding the stories of other cultures, we come closer to understanding the diversity of cultures and the meaning of life.
Hopefully, I will return you to my normal variety of posts real soon! 🙂