My Voice

I’m so bad at conflict. Getting called out, being put on the spot, having to defend my position; it’s all a water slide to a deep pool of uncomfortableness. Still, there’s growth in those challenging moments. There’s something to be learned about hearing myself present my arguments. I oftentimes realize that what makes sense in my head is not so clear as I try to verbalize it to someone else.

And then there’s the emotion. It’s like a Doberman Pincher in a junkyard, trained to maul and attack the first thing it sees. Learning to keep my emotions in check in times of disagreement has been the toughest challenge of all. And it’s hard for me, when I feel my words and logical thought processes are falling upon deaf ears, to not throw my hands up in frustration and just walk away. I feel like Clarence in Coming to America:

I really used to worry about what someone might think of my writing. I really used to worry about having to censor myself because my audience continued to expand . Yes, I’ve caught myself editing out controversial items. Yes, I’ve changed language or tone or syntax because I took into consideration how others may interpret what I am saying. To me, that’s part of the self-editing process of a writer, ensuring the subject is not so narrow that no one will enjoy reading it. But in the end, I always fall back on a brief conversation I had with a friend of mine from Church. He told me, “Don’t change a thing. You have a voice. Don’t be afraid to use it.”

A voice. My voice. And as small and miniscule as my online reach may be, I have the opportunity to speak my mind and advocate for those who cannot. I have the opportunity to, in my own little way, affect change and help make a difference. This is my voice and these are my words, words that are fueled by my experiences and the passion in my heart.

I used to think my writing was just for me. However, be it on the pages of this blog or on any other site to which I may contribute, I’m reminded tonight that my writing is not always just for me. I may be a flawed messenger, and I may get destroyed by others in the arena of debate, but these are my words ….. and they aren’t going away.

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3 thoughts on “My Voice

  1. Good post, Gil. I think the important thing is to realize that others, from alternate experiences, beliefs, and perspectives also have a voice — and its not a debate to “win a point” — its a discussion to consider those alternate perspectives. The scripture teaches us to “speak the truth in love.” Unfortunately, there are some that just believe they need to “force the truth” regardless of how vile it is expressed — and the “truth” too often gets twisted.

    From the Christian perspective, it is so very important to be compassionate while not being pulled into a compromise that calls “wrong right.” There is sin in this world (an unpopular term, I know). But how we react to that sin and those evil things shows how we’ve adopted a “world view” versus a “Christ view.” As a believer our prayer should be that our view becomes more of a “Christ view” and less of a “world view.” To understand that “Christ view,” it is best to read what He has said in his word and let that shape our view. That said, I listen to many different perspectives because I have found that what I thought was a “Christ view” may, in reality, be my own twisted view of what Christ really taught. Again, the scriptures talk about having our faith and “Christ view” grounded in the teachings of Christ and His disciples — outlined in the New Testament.

    I have purposely NOT chosen a specific “hot button” or particular social issue…because defenses go up and it can turn into a debate that results in folks not listening–and that is not my purpose. At the end of the day we are all travelers on a long road learning as we go. Let’s pray we are wise enough to recognize that we do not necessarily have all the answers — but be willing to share what we believe the answers are with an open heart that can truly listen to another perspective. We might just be surprised at how our view changes. 🙂

    Your friend,
    Mark

    1. Thank you so very much, Mark. I can’t properly express the gratitude I have for having you in my life as a friend and mentor. I’ve learned so much from our interactions over the last couple of years, and I am so blessed to have you and Renee as friends with whom to share this life journey. Your wisdom, experience, and guidance is a priceless gift you so readily share, and I know I am growing into a better person as a result.

  2. You are a great person, Gil, and one who loves deeply and cares much. Your compassion for people is evident in your writing and in your voice and manners. Your whole heart is God’s passion and He always guides as we allow Him to speak or love through us. Thank you for valued friendship and for gracious dialog. Hopefully, we have only just begun.

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