“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”
I am a writer. The word does not define me, as no words can truly define any person, but it does put some perspective on the gifts I’ve been given. I am also a life-long learner, a researcher, a reader, a father, a husband, a brother, a son, and uncle and much, much, more. There are many things that I am good at, and many that I am terrible at, so when it came time to look at what I have been contributing to the future, to society, or even to my daughter’s education besides funding, I began to look at my gifts and what I could give.
The only answer I came up with was my voice, my writing, and my perspective on the world, not only to educate and inform – but more importantly to me, too provoke and to agitate people into thinking and feeling something from a different perspective than their own. In all of my writing, not matter how much I try to entertain my audience, I have the uncontrollable urge to try to make them feel and think as well. Sometimes I play the Devil’s Advocate, making an argument for things I am not even sure I believe, simply because someone must make the argument in order for there to be balance in the universe and to test our basic assumptions. Other times I will stand on the shoulders of giants and echo the words of the great minds that have come before and reached brilliant conclusions we have either forgotten or chose to ignore.
Either way, if my gift is in my writing and my voice, to not use that gift would be selfish and lazy. It doesn’t matter who reads the words I write, only that I write them, because I know that words have changed the world more than any weapon. Whether they are the words in The Bible, The Torah, The Koran, The Tao Te Ching, The Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, The Descent of Man, or The Theory of Relativity – words have power. These words changed the thoughts of men, and their thoughts changed their actions – their actions changed the world. Without these writings, societies would not have changed, and weapons have been fired in causes that their owners had been dissuaded from following.
So. No more apathy. No more standing by and doing nothing. If I am to use the gifts given to me, I must agitate with my words and be like the sand in the oyster, hoping to create a pearl of wisdom. Notice – I don’t pretend to have wisdom, I only hope to be the sand – the wisdom is all on you. To paraphrase Frank Outlaw and a host of others, if I manage to change the thoughts of one person, so that their thoughts change their words, and their words change their actions, and their actions change their character, perhaps that character change will be the first ripple in the ocean of humanity — and change can spread. Perhaps I will change someone’s mind, or provoke a new thought. It does not matter, for I am only following the advice of Henry Van Dyke, who said: “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
~ Until the Next Time,