Thursday, May 27, 2004
I have spent most of the day working on the staff issue of The Rose & Thorn--doing a little editing and putting it all together with illustrations and a few fancy fonts to make it look really special. But one thing has been on my mind as I worked on the profile of three really great science fiction & fantasy authors (Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, and Elizabeth Moon), that some people have taken my personal views on honesty in communication and politically correct language as a law for everyone.
That's just not so.
The views are my own. Like anyone who keeps a journal, even online, personal views are just that -- personal views. Whether you disagree or agree with my take or stand on an issue is up to you. It won't change my views, unless you have some pretty good evidence to back up your divergent opinion, but you are just as entitled to your views as I am to mine.
There are also some misconceptions about what I wrote. I find PC language empty and divisive because it gives polite and empty labels to things and people in an attempt to mend some imagined wrong. But calling someone vertically challenged instead of short or differently abled instead of handicapped does not take the sting out of the facts. Fancy words without the obvious truth. If you're short, you're short. If you're fat, you're fat. If you're bald or tall or skinny or stupid, live with it. You can't change being short without platform shoes or inserts or being tall without slouching or really readical surgery, but that does not make you any less a person or any less useful, viable, or special. Our differences make us special. If the world was composed of human carbon copies without any differences, there would be no need for journals or life as we know it. Perfection is stagnation. Normal is relative. Life is about change and change is constant.
If you are not comfortable saying what you feel, then say nothing at all, but be honest with yourself. You help no one, not even yourself, when you are dishonest about what you think, feel, and say. If you find it uncomfortable or difficult to say what you feel, maybe that is something for you to change . . . or not. It's your choice. But if people misunderstand you, who is at fault, the person who misunderstood or you for not being clear?
We are who and what we choose to be, and, as I have said before, not choosing is still a choice.
I have friends who are afraid to confront their fears or anyone else and they feel they cannot change that fact of their lives. That's their choice. They're still my friends. While they may not be able or willing to be forthright and open about their feelings, their thoughts, their dreams and hopes, or themselves, they have a right to their silence, just as I have a right to my open honest and sometimes confrontational manner.
I understand how they feel. I spend the biggest part of my life silent, afraid to say what I thought and felt because of being criticized, ostracized, and just plain hurt. I don't like pain, but I can and will endure it. There finally came a time when silence wasn't working for me. Being afraid someone would not love me or would hate me or walk away from me or just ignore me made my life more difficult. I finally understood that if I didn't ask for what I wanted, if I didn't speak out when someone hurt me, slighted me, or ignored me, it was my fault not theirs. It took an even longer time to break out of the prison I had built and throw caution to the winds and speak my mind.
Not everyone is built the same way. Not everyone learns a lesson at the same speed -- or sometimes at all. What I write, what I believe is what I have learned thru trial and error -- a lot of error.
I do not expect you to like me because of what I write, or even agree with me, but I hope you understand or are at least willing to ask me to explain. If not, that's your choice.
A journal, at least for me, is a place to chronicle my thoughts, conjecture, questions, and revelations--no matter how small or insignificant they may be to others. Ultimately, this is for me and for anyone who thinks they might like to take a peek into my mind without the vivisection. I have nothing to lose by being honest. I am nearly 50 years old and I have lived an interesting and, at times, difficult life. This is all part of the journey and you are welcome to walk alongside for a while or for the rest of the trip. It's your choice. My choice is to tell it as I have lived it and how I have come to understand it. Nothing more and nothing less.
At least you don't have to wait until I'm dead and someone inquisitive someone decides to make a little (very little, I'm sure) money out of my rambling thoughts. You get to see the journey unfold as it happens -- or not. Maybe you'd rather wait until one of my greedy children decides to sell my thoughts, dreams, aspirations, questions, and insights. That's fine, too.
In the meantime, thank you for jumping in and commenting when you don't agree--and even when you do. You all make life enjoyable, whatever your choices. I do not expect you to change because of me, but maybe you'll change in spite of me and allow me to come along and share your journey as well. Whatever you choose, thanks for sharing these few moments with me.