Friday, August 29, 2014

Writing in the Public Arena

My poor little blog "what a cup of tea." How I have neglected you, without any intention to do so.

Blame it on Facebook, where I spend a great deal of my discretionary online time. I've been engaged there daily, even hourly on some days, commenting on current events and posting prayers and reflections regularly.

So, if you're reading this, and you'd like to read what I'm thinking and writing, send a Facebook message to the Asian "Lelanda Lee" (there is also an African American "Lelanda Lee" on Facebook!), tell me who you are, and I'll Friend you after I've determined you're not a "bot" or someone seeking an illicit online relationship!
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An interesting thing about writing in the public arena is that it requires a commitment of ego. You have to have sufficient ego to believe that you have something to say that others are interested in reading. You also have to have the critical judgment to know what you can appropriately share and what really is not for public consumption. Your readership will let you know if you've met the mark.

The responsibility of "thought leadership" is one I take seriously. Just as our actions have consequences, so, too, do our words and the thoughts we share. I've said it before, and it merits repeating that self-restraint, which is the measure of the maturity we achieve, is an absolutely imperative characteristic of all types of leadership.

Others learn from what we profess as much as they learn from what we hold back. It's a lot like the white space on a page or light on a canvas that somehow focuses our attention on the content that matters, including the content that is invisible to the eye but not to the contemplative parts of our psyches.

I know from the responses I've gotten to the prayers and reflections I post on Facebook that my perspective resonates with many others. I don't think it's about being smarter, thinking better, or observing more deeply. Rather, I think the reason my perspective resonates is because of my empathy and compassion. When I write, I am in a posture of prayer, and I try to be connected spiritually with those I am likely to touch with my words.

I think that the opening verse of Margaret Atwood's poem, which I first read as a young adult, says it all:

     We are hard on each other
     and call it honesty,
     choosing our jagged truths
     with care and aiming them across
     the neutral table.

     The things we say are
     true; it is our crooked
     aim, our choices
     turn them criminal

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