Saturday, 8 November 2014
Some Writing Should Not Be Read
Some writing should not be read. That's a pretty forward statement for a writer to make. It is also a conclusion that comes weighted with much thought and second guesses. For, after all, aren't all writers on a journey? Each travelling a path which, although similar in some ways, is very different in others? The struggle is similar; the struggle is subjective; the struggle is real.
Given the uniqueness of the journey, and the fact that each of us faces the next step for the first time, our readers understand that we are prone to errors. We don't always strike the right note. And, if it's one thing that every writer comes to find out, it is this: Words are powerful beings. They take on a life of their own. They cut; they heal; they hurt; they mend; they build; they destroy. And when you think you're finally over them, a familiar scent can bring memories of words spoken - and how - rushing back, unheralded and unhindered. There will be blood. Yes, things will sometimes get real messy up in here.
But, while we understand the limitations and ramifications of words uttered and media used, we do not have to subject ourselves to crap. And I'm not talking about the saying, "Bad writing is contagious." I don't know about you, but I have to be careful about what I take into my system.Things have a way of...lingering, for better or for worse. So, if I simply get wind that a piece of writing is crap (not crappy - I trust you to infer the difference), I stay away from it.
To me, writing that puts some persons up only by putting others down; that makes a person question their value and self-worth and feel they're sorely lacking; that reinforces the notion that one group is better than another, is not the kind of writing that should be fed upon. It gets into the psyche and...and does things - ugly things. Quite simply, it may leave someone feeling that they are not good enough; that the quality of life they heretofore enjoyed is, all of a sudden, not up to par. I've written before about people making different choices and doing what makes them happy - Squeezing Life Out of Life. What they do and how they define success and perfection will very often not be the same as someone else's. One of my grandmothers used to say, "Everybody pot nuh boil at the same time." We will not all get what we desire at the same time. As a matter of fact, given our differences as...oooh, I dunno, human beings? We do not all have the same ingredients cooking in our pots. And, to boot, it bears recalling that tastes do differ. Imagine yourself coming to my house and telling me that the delicious spread I've spent all day preparing is not...'ow you saaay? (French accent) ideal, because it does not resemble my neighbour's? The struggle is real for everybody. And, if the struggle is subjective, then, so too, is the definition of success.
What really saddens me is there are those with much influence - well, if you can call it that, in a small pond where the little fish thinks he's a shark - who are looked upon as thought leaders. (A moment of silence as we let that sink in.) It is neither fair, nor right, for young minds to be subjected to, and shaped by, writers and spewers of ideas who translate and transfer their insecurities into words on a page to be consumed as truth by the malleable. Ideas that feed divisiveness; that drive a wedge between haves and have-nots; that cause young minds and hearts to feel they've failed even before they've begun, and slap the cheeks of unsung heroes, are unwelcome 'round these parts.
When it comes right down to it, are we too busy brown-nosing, or trying to be validated by someone, or serving the Kingdom of Me - population One? Or are we performing the random acts of kindness, or helping someone who can't repay us, or hugging a child, or stopping to smell the roses...? You know, like gems we love to post in our Social Media fiefdoms.
Sigh. We don't always get it right. But, I really believe it is important to try to make a positive difference. Like that quote by Woodrow Wilson says, "We are not here merely to make a living, but to enrich the world with a finer spirit of hope and achievement and we impoverish ourselves if we forget the errand."