It’s one of the challenges of any new enterprise, I suppose, generally speaking. Stepping forward. Even if it is little more than one first, tentative step. Even if the direction isn’t clearly defined. At some point you still need to take a step.
So here I am. Stepping forward. And it’s a step that feels very tentative indeed. It’s not that there isn’t an abundance of ideas floating around in the ol’ grey matter for directions to take. My challenge is rooted more firmly in the question of whether any of those ideas will actually be of any value, either to myself or anyone else who may chance upon the words I put forth.
Perhaps the process of writing them down, of expressing them beyond my internal world, is more important than anyone actually reading them. Part of my thought process on this has certainly been that I simply need to devote more time to writing and communicating through media beyond my novels.
Vlogging doesn’t appeal, the thought of having to present myself in visual format on a regular basis even less appealing than the chore of having to take the occasional selfie. Anonymity has a most distinct appeal.
Tweeting? It’s not that I don’t have an account, and very occasionally post something. But there is something unlikeable about the extent to which people express their attitudes, particularly the enthusiasm so many have for denigrating others, or proclaiming their opinion on a matter with such vitriolic passion.
I only have to look at the direction that mainstream media, alternate media, twitter, facebook and all the other communication platforms have gone, to feel a troubling level of apprehension about my own interaction with all of that. So much of it appears to be increasingly black or white, us v them, with us or against us, right or wrong, and so on and so forth. Argument has become more appealing than discussion. Logic is being abandoned for point scoring and reinforcing a given perspective, whether that perspective has any basis in truth or not. It no longer seems to matter so much, as long as the individual/group wins the argument. And there is the increasing notion that if a point is said often enough then that must somehow make it true.
So it seems entirely possible, or more likely probable, that at some point I may well express an opinion, or a perspective, that someone out there will disagree with. That notion in itself isn’t an issue. Human nature involves having unique perspectives evolved from personal experience, with interpretation of that experience filtered through the kaleidoscopic influence of multitudinous conditionings, from family, geographic location, religious and political structures, through to race, ethnicity, sex/gender and everything else besides.
What’s more concerning for me, in moving forward, is how aggressive responses are becoming, whether that’s outright attacks without any apparent deeper consideration of the subject and the person, or whether that’s even the censorship that is more blatantly expressing itself through the likes of google, facebook, twitter and more.
There appears to be a genuine lack of kindness and consideration in how so many people throughout the communications (social media, news media, etc.) sphere are interacting with each other, in how they are responding to subjects that they have an opinion on, and especially that they feel passionate about. Now I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to agree with each other. That’s simply not how we function as a species. That’s not how we evolve. And I don’t believe that’s how we ultimately improve. Friction, even if it’s the result of differing opinions and perspectives, creates the opportunity for discourse, which hopefully creates the opportunity for exploration, for proving or disproving the validity of the ideas at hand. Yet if there’s no kindness attached to the process, no respect for the other member(s) of the discourse, then how can there ever be any improvement?
So what is the point I’m attempting to make here? Is there a point? Is there a purpose to any of this?
Well, all of this is about how I intend to approach my own involvement in this process of communicating. I’m not perfect. I’m sure I’ll fail along the way. I’ve no doubt that others may find fault in my perspective and my efforts. Yet my intent is to share whatever I may happen to share with as much kindness as I can possibly manage. I’ve no plan to limit myself on subject matter too much, as my focus is more about whatever topics feel important in any given period. But still!! If I can inject as much positivity and consideration into WHAT I share, and HOW I share it, then perhaps this entire exercise might yet have some merit. It may, as a result, prove an excellent conduit for me to learn more about myself. And maybe, if I’m very fortunate, it may be of some small benefit to someone else.