I want to write about something not related to the election but everything feels related to the election. It’s like, because it’s only been a few days, I don’t think I can talk about anything else. I could share an opinion that is not politically charged. I could talk about something that matters to me but isn’t about our president or other representatives. However, since it’s what’s on everyone’s mind right now, it feels like someone will spin it into a political post. It’s like if a TV show was going to run an episode about a school shooting but then an actual school shooting happened three days before it was supposed to air. The show wasn’t making any kind of commentary about the school shooting but now it feels way too relevant to put that out there.
This isn’t exactly the same phenomenon but it’s similar. Big events seem to taint your opinions. People start reading into your comments and thoughts as if they must be referencing the event in some way. If you do manage to talk about something completely unrelated to the event, people may see you as out of touch or maybe that you don’t care about what happened. Maybe you don’t care about the event, but is that what you want to tell people? Maybe you’re just trying to move past it. Maybe you made an obligatory comment about it already and now want to keep life moving.
It’s starting to feel like this is less of a problem with posting an opinion or comment and more about other’s perceptions about what you’re trying to say. After a major event, you tend to read into things a bit more. At least I do. Why wouldn’t something at the forefront of your mind influence how you read and think about media and conversation? Someone could say something completely unoffensive but under the circumstances it has become offensive.
Maybe what I’m doing here is just expressing how I’m starting to feel a certain amount of pressure from this blog. It sounds a tiny bit silly, even to myself, but I feel the responsibility of writing well and writing what I believe. I want to be clear and real with my readers and though you readers are few right now, I can already see you are growing. It makes me really happy but at the same time, a bit nervous. I have a responsibility to God to write the truth, I have responsibility to myself to write honestly, I have a responsibility to my readers to continue writing and live up to at least a few expectations.
While I’m pretty good at taking criticism and not taking negativity too personally, I sometimes think about the future of this blog. Will it continue to grow? Will I keep writing about the same things? How will newcomers react to my work? How many new opportunities will open up because of this? I sometimes think about, when this place grows more, will people start being very negative? I’m all for good discussion but I know that bloggers can get a lot of hate for writing things that seem innocent. I’ve never had to deal with anything like that before.
Perhaps this is cart-before-the-horse thinking, or maybe I’m arrogantly thinking I’ll become famous (I don’t want to be famous), but it’s hard to ignore. I’ve chosen to make some of my life public through this blog. But I know from seeing other people start off small (on Youtube, Instagram, etc.) and grow bigger and bigger that if my blog and other works grow there will be a time when a lot of people will be reacting to what I say. That’s a little scary in a world with as much accessible information as ours is.
Just look at the recent election (HA! Tricked you! This IS ((apparently)) political in some way!): there are people being attacked on both sides. Whether you didn’t want Trump to win and you’re devastated or if you did want Trump to win and you’re elated. Trump supporters are feeling threatened by protesters who talk about beating up anyone who voted for him. Clinton supporters are feeling belittled and humiliated by attacks on social media and the barrage of news about what’s going to happen next. When you put your beliefs and opinions in the limelight, so to speak, there are those who think it is their job to either affirm or tear down. Regardless of who you supported, we have to think about the good of the country and coming together after such a divisive election. You don’t change people’s hearts and minds by electing the official you wanted. You change them through love and conversation and information.
This post went from talking about events influencing how people interpret innocuous information to how I feel about the growth of my blog to being calm and understanding about the outcome of the recent election. I’m not sure what to leave you with this week. I generally try to give a good, coherent thought at the end of my posts but this was a progression through several thoughts.
I know that the election will not be as poignant a topic for my readers in other countries (I am curious if anyone outside the US reading this followed the election at all?) but I hope that there is still something positive to take away this week.
Be understanding of those who want to move on quickly and not talk about events for very long. Be understanding of those who need some time to consider the event and figure out their feelings about it. Be kind to those putting their opinions out there. Basically, do good, regardless of who that good is for.