Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On jumping into the fray...

So... I have thoughts about stuff.  Perspectives about issues of the day -- personal issues, faith issues, etc. -- that I think some person or other out there might find valuable.  That's why I started this blog to begin with.  But while I have words and sentences and 2/3-of-potential-blog-posts swirling around in my brain constantly, I hardly ever sit down and type them out and I even more rarely push the "publish" button.


I think there are a few reasons.  #1 -- The difficulty of putting all these swirling thoughts into coherent essays.  It's daunting.  There is always more I wish I had said, or that I had said it differently.  How do I express all of this so that no one will misunderstand?  #2 -- Time.  I am a busy mom with kids who have homework and practices and all sorts of goings-on, just like pretty much everyone else.  And apparently playing Candy Crush on my phone while watching The Voice is a higher-priority use of my post-bedtime hours than putting the work into writing would be.  Because that's mostly what I've been doing lately.

#3 -- (And this is the big one) I hate contention.  I hate "getting into it" with people, especially people that I care about.  Some of the things that I want to write about address topics that people get really heated and just plain mean about.  And I don't want to jump into the fray.

But here's the problem I see with that: there will always be people on both sides of any issue who love to argue and fight and yell and scream about stuff.  And boy, do they make themselves heard.  I think so much of what is broken about our culture and our government and the world in general comes from only the people on the extremes of the divides being willing to make themselves heard.  So the issues become more and more divisive because those are the options we are presented with.  But those of us with perspectives that might help to unify get drowned out, or we never put our thoughts out there in the first place.

I also really don't want to open myself up to the personal attacks that are so easy to attract online.  I've watched my brother Dan of Single Dad Laughing go through a lot of crap as he's become a really big blogger.  No matter what he posts, someone wants to tell him he is the devil incarnate.  He's had to develop a really thick skin when it comes to that.  I don't know if I have it in me.  Not that I have any aspiration to blog at the level he does, but it seems like it doesn't take much to bring out the animosity in people.

Then I saw Malala Yousafzi on the Daily Show -- the 16-year-old girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating for girls' right to education in Pakistan.  This teenage girl has shown incredible bravery in the face of real attacks, so much more than just the threat of a few mean words on a computer screen.  It made me feel ashamed of myself for being such a coward.  And hopeful that I can follow her example in a small way by being brave enough to share my feelings and perspectives without fear for peoples' animosity.  Here is the full interview -- so completely inspirational:

She combats hatred and fear with love and courage.  I am committing to do the same myself, to try and put a small voice of love out into the sea of craziness in the world, and hope it makes a difference to someone.

I don't expect anyone to read this -- it's been so long since I posted on this blog I doubt anyone is listening -- but really I'm just thinking out loud to myself right now.  And posting it here to make a commitment to myself to start getting the words and thoughts out of my head and out into the world, where someday, something might make a difference to someone.

The End.