“When I take a step back from the reactionary lens and allow a more proactive approach. I find that my writing is productive and moves me to action more than demanding action from others.”
I’ve been writing this blog for a while now. I wanted a place for brief, insightful, thoughtful analysis and opinion on current events, social issues, politics and life. Short, positive reads that were both accessible and articulate. To a large degree, I think I am have accomplished what I set out to do.
However, something else happened that I did not anticipate. I found myself filtering and tempering myself in ways that were both positive and unexpected. When I would feel some kind of indignation and want to quickly go to the keyboard and pound out some snarky response to current events something in me would say, “Don’t do it.” I would ask myself, “Instead of finding a way to lay blame to others, what are you doing to fix the problem? Are you contributing to the animosity or helping to alleviate it?” Instead of trying to ‘fix’ others the process of writing has mostly helped improve me.
With that in mind, I have been thinking recently about the ideas of entitlement and obligation.
Entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
Obligation: an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.
When I want to use my writing to strike out, to correct or condemn, it’s because I feel entitled–a sense of righteous indignation. That inclination is, for me, always reactionary. My ideas and opinions deserve more respect than you showed me. Therefore, I will show you how you were wrong.
When I take a step back from the reactionary lens and allow a more proactive approach. I find that my writing is productive and moves me to action more than demanding action from others. I feel a sense of obligation to deeply think about my position, research it, and talk about what I can do instead of what you should do. When I am writing from a place of obligation, I find myself using me and I more than you and they. What can I do to make a difference, in contrast to this is what you must do. Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a place for calling out bad behavior. I just think social media and easy access to mass communication has somehow ironically made us less community minded and more self-centered. Instead, I want to be more altruistic and take a more community view.
We now have have the ability to communicate with people all around the world in real time. We should use it to build the world we want, not tear the world around us down. I am grateful for what writing and thinking has done for me. I’m grateful for those who have taken the time to read my blog and join me on this journey.