After my last post, I truly thought about closing my blog. I did some soul searching and left several groups that I was a part of, but didn’t participate in. I looked at my friends list and did a serious look at them. I basically did a mid year mind search and seriously looked at where I was, how I was feeling and what I was doing. Sort of a personal spring cleaning.
During a conversation with another blogger it occurred to me that although writing and blogging is cathartic, it does not always fully express the whole situation.
As I wrote about growing up, I thought of my sisters, and their point of view. Although the three of us grew up in the same house, with the same parent and the same circumstances, their view is different from mine.
The book reports we were forced to do while in school? Everyone reading the same book, answering the same questions? I always thought that it would be so boring for that poor English teacher to read the same thing over and over. Although the basic principle of the book is there, how it is interpreted is different in each individual.
The same is true with social media. We all read the written word. We each draw our own conclusion of what we read. But, is it accurate of what is written? Not necessarily. We each read with a different tone in our mind and that depends on our mood at that time. I could write, That child is a mess. What do I mean by that? That the child is in need of a bath? That the child is in need of medical intervention? That the child is in need of psychiatric help? Or, that child is so much fun they make me laugh and smile?
Yes, taking things in context is very important and it would depend on what was written before and after the statement, but the point I am trying to make is that an opinion can be made very easily upon interpretation of the reader. That interpretation may not be how the writer is thinking, but because writers are limited by their ability, the full emotion and history of a thought is not translated to the written word.
This past week I have read several comments and thoughts and it truly has worn me out. I am surprised and grieved at the amount of angst in the words. Some of these words may have been written without the angst, and yet they have been interpreted far from how the writer was feeling.
Words on a page are one dimensional. They are not three dimensional. Because of that, we do not see the sides or the back of the words. We just see them. The same is true of how we see the writers. We see them like we see the words, one dimensional. No life. We then make a judgement on the person as a whole, and to me, that is wrong. I know I have been guilty of this. I fail to see the person as a whole. We do not know what prompted the person to write. We do not see the struggle they may have just gone through. We do not know what is going on behind the screen, so to speak.
I guess what I am saying is that we need to see people as a whole person. The words they wrote may not have the tone to them that we are placing on them. I challenged myself this week to read, think, and reread before I play judge and jury. I write this for me, if it speaks positively to you, then I will feel like I have successfully written what I had intended. I truly dread if it is misinterpreted as many saw my last post.
People who write blogs do so because they feel a need to. Often times it is a release of thoughts. Sometimes it is for therapy and a single way to liberate the parade of feelings trapped inside. For others, it is merely a stepping stone to hone skills to write a manuscript. Personally, I fit all of the above, and the fact that I find I am more articulate while writing than I am in talking. I once received a card from a friend that said, I am so much more interesting on my blog. It was one of my favorite all time cards.
I know this week has been an interesting one for so many reasons. I realize emotions are hot and close to the surface, let’s take time to take a deep breath, read and reread before posting a comment just to make a comment. I know I am approaching my social media timidly and infrequently.
A scripture that has both encouraged me and challenged me this week is Proverbs 15:1, NLT “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” Unfortunately this is not the first time that I have been challenged by this verse, hopefully it will be one of the last times it will present one.