Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next. Nora Ephron

Last night at Toastmasters one of the new members has written four books. I’ve written three, and another lady is taking a course to help publish hers. We had this conversation when there were only a few of us in the meeting. Everyone has a story to tell and maybe the more people tell their stories the more we will understand each other.

What if we could understand people’s thoughts and feelings stated in their own words? If we could understand how they believe things they’ve done, said, left undone, or unsaid were interpreted or misinterpreted. Would we be so quick to label them as this or that?

Joe Rogan comes to mind. We can listen to his conversations because he has a podcast and he’s had it for years. He discussed a word that is forbidden to say and he is now in trouble. I don’t believe we should live in a country and interact with people and some people can say something others cannot. Now, I know people do say things amongst themselves and that would be fine. But, this word is in the songs our children sing, but they can’t sing the word. We have to be absolutely crazy to think this is OK.

Don’t use the OK sign while you complain because that supposedly has connotations and overtones. We may not agree when people stand up for something that it is exactly what they are standing up for. We don’t understand other people’s sensitivities and what is important to them. Being told, “you have to or else,” is a red flag to some, and good behavior to others. Who is right, who is wrong? What happened to agree to disagree, what happened to the middle way?

The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say but what we are unable to say. Anais Nin

I said to my husband yesterday, “We both believe in the concept of equality, we don’t agree with what that is.” Equal opportunity, versus equal outcome, who is right? How can we ever get an equal outcome?

Back to writing books. If each of us writes a book, about one in ten or even less is likely to make money. Sometimes what makes money is seen as a commercial success that doesn’t have as much merit in some people’s eyes as what they consider, “True Art.” Some people would prefer to be seen as, “The true artist,” others would prefer to make money. I don’t think being a commercial success makes you less of an artist just because it’s a commercial success, and just because you aren’t a commercial success doesn’t make it, “True Art.”

There are many gray areas in life, and if we want a successful, and mostly harmonious civilization we will have to live with a lot of gray areas. We will have to accept that even the most well-intentioned people can be awkward and have their words misinterpreted. Staying away from difficult conversations doesn’t make a better civilization. It doesn’t work in families, communities, or countries. Perhaps we have to have the right to feel offended, but does that mean we can take away the freedom or livelihood from those who offend us?

I have a book called “Unoffendable” and I think the more we try not to take offense in life the better our life will be. We now have micro-aggressions people are complaining about. I absolutely believe they occur; some people live their life in a passive-aggressive mode because they aren’t powerful enough to be assertive or aggressive. People aren’t perfect, the stoics wrote about what we are dealing with as people, the bible and other books talk about it. The human condition and coping with the slings and arrows of life is what we have to deal with.

Society will never be perfect because it is made up of people. We may prefer unemotional robots, but we have to deal with people and their imperfections. One of the ways to have an unhappy life is to have unrealistic expectations, and be upset when others don’t live up to them. We can work on ourselves and we will never reach perfection, but trying to fix other people doesn’t work at all.

I usually write about things that frighten me. Otherwise, what’s the point? Kafka once said we need books not to be entertained by them but for them to be like an ax on the frozen sea of our souls. David Grossman

People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument. Will Rogers

If your everyday life seems poor to you, do not accuse it; accuse yourself, tell yourself you are not poet enough to summon up the riches; since for the creator there is no poverty and no poor or unimportant place. Rainer Maria Rilke

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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One thought on “Everyone is writing a book, are you? Are you worried you might offend someone?

  1. Great blog. Although insulting speech is hard to take, if we clean everything to a point, meaning will be lost. I have often used the example that to be gender neutral a mail man has to be called a person-person. It all depends on how and where the words are used.

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