“It’s not my intention to offend anyone. I have discovered, however, in recent years, that it’s very difficult to speak to a large group of people and not offend someone.”
I had such high hopes for this blog. It was going to be different from my last attempt. I was going to write about a variety of topics. I wasn’t going to have long dry-spells between blog posts.
(Go ahead. Look to see how long it has been since my last post. I’ll wait.)
I could tell you that life has been a little busy. That home-schooling is more time-intensive than I thought. Or that cleaning, shopping and cooking for a family of five takes time. And while those things are all true, they aren’t the cause of my writer’s block.
It turns out the problem is me.
Seems that every time I think of a topic I’d like to write about, I’m instantaneously plagued with worry about who might be offended by it. I spend way too much time thinking of ways to tip-toe around the topic, and I eventually give up, because it isn’t fun anymore.
But the quote above served as a sort of wakeup call for me, because it is true that the larger your audience, the more likely it is that someone out there will disagree with your viewpoint.
Nothing earth-shattering in that statement. Except that choosing this particular quote by this particular speaker could be considered inflammatory, because he made the remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Just before he launched into a speech questioning many of our nation’s current policies. Much to the chagrin of many in the current administration. So if you’re a supporter of Dr. Carson’s viewpoints, you might love my choice. If you’re not, you might never come back to my blog.
Stated another way, although countless other speakers have likely made similar observations about addressing a large audience, my choice to quote this particular speaker will carry added meaning for some readers.
But my point isn’t to debate politics here. It’s simply to point out that it’s impossible to ensure that no one will be offended. The words we say and the choices we make are a reflection of where we’ve been, what we’ve done and what we believe. And those same experiences will shape the way we interpret the things around us.
The only absolute certainty is that we won’t always agree with one another.
I’ve recently been challenged to believe that we weren’t put here to just “get along.” Our purpose here is to really live and to accomplish something. And if we always take the safe route, we’re missing what we came for.
“Gary had checked out. He was still going to work, paying the bills, and cutting the grass, but that was it. There was no emotion, no investment, no reaction to anything. The more vital parts of him were shut down…. All his life, Gary had been a good boy. A gelding. And geldings, though they are nicer and much more well behaved than stallions, do not bring life. They are sterile.”
~ John Eldredge in “The Journey of Desire”
This is not to say that this blog should be your future destination for all things incendiary. If you’re looking for gossip or in-your-face writing, this won’t be the place. But if you do visit often, and I sincerely hope you will, I trust you’ll find compelling, thought-provoking topics that we can kick around together.
No geldings allowed.