Writing

People seem the most blind when they look inside themselves. It’s not easy being self critical, and actually gaining anything from it. Constructive self criticism is the Holy Grail of self help, and much like the Holy Grail an illusive goal to achieve.

I often write a phrase, or a sentence, or a paragraph. Then I almost invariably rewrite it; I often rewrite it again; and, not uncommonly I will rewrite it once more … or several times more.  I’ve already lost count of the amount of times I have rewrote the last sentence, all my typical typos aside.  I imagine it was fine some three or four revisions ago, but that is just one example of being blind to my own workings.

The release is in the writing; prose to free the mind and unfetter the soul.

Of course, this phrase just seemed to pop right out of thin air. Fortunately I was able to write it down without edit or thought of change, and it remains because some times you just have to take a chance that your subconscience knows what you are doing and your conscience mind should just stay clear of the matter.

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Believe

The ideals you hold dear to your heart are important and a part of who and what you are. These ideals will also shape the person you will become. Follow what you believe in your heart and you will be able to hold you head high in the knowledge you are following your heart.

I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.
~~ Mahatma Gandhi

As Gandhi says, violence is not the answer, nor a means to promote your ideas. Hold your ideas aloft for others to see and be prepared to explain them to those that may not understand. It is with the discussions and the exchanging of ideas, and ideals, that we grow and that we learn. It is only when we believe in ourselves that others will believe in us.

Share your beliefs with others, but do not expect them to be blindly followed. Teach your beliefs to others so they may learn and believe for themselves.

Take Ownership

Seems like a simple idea to me, take ownership. Take ownership of your actions. Take ownership of your words; your writing; your speech. Take ownership of your life. I mean be responsible for what you do and how you do it, and more importantly be prepared to acknowledge and, if necessary, defend your position.

For example, as a forum administrator I accept the responsibilities that are required to insure the forums I manage run smoothly. I do not hide in the shadows. I do not ignore questions. I make every effort to not appear capricious or cavalier about what I do.  If there are concerns or questions from members, I address them appropriately. I take ownership of the responsibility involved in my actions.

Even as I write this post, I am preparing for any comments, whether they are made or not. Do I take on the role of agent provocateur, no. I may take the position of devil’s advocate, as I see it, but I am not looking to incite anyone or any group. My greatest hope is to have people think for themselves and take ownership of their thoughts; believe in what they say and do; and, be prepared to stand up for, or explain, or discuss, these dialogues and deeds. To take ownership.

Their They’re There

Different words sounding the same, spelled differently, and having different meanings.  Homonyms by definition. How often people confuse one word with the other, one meaning with the next, and then not understand why they could not get their point across.

Not that I am pointing out an issue with education, which I feel this is. This is not necessarily an issue with an individuals education but more likely an issue with the school system the person graduated from.

How often have you read there, when the correct word is they’re.  When a person is denoting ownership, it is not there’s but theirs.

What I am getting to here is the importance of understanding an individual and communicating in terms that are understood by all parties involved. Their, they’re, there; these three simple words can be found misused in many places where everyday people write to communicate, such as forums, and blogs, and emails, etc. These really are simple to correct, but what about those words or phrases that one person believes to mean one thing, yet another person believes it to mean another.

Write, or speak, in clear terms; never assume you are using words that the reader, or listener, will take for the meaning you intend. When you write, keep in mind that a word or phrase can carry a connotative meaning, a meaning that people believe to be correct (but not necessarily correct); and, when you speak with another person, take care to make sure they understand what you are saying in terms they can relate to.

And so we begin …