Someone the other day, not naming names, asked me about my blogs. They find them fascinating but worried that perhaps they were too long and that some readers would just move on from it without finishing the read and finding the ultimate gem within it. I laughed to myself. I did not laugh at them, I laughed at the concept of pandering to the reader instead of just writing what needs to be written.
These days people often are under the completely misguided impression that what they ingest for information has to match their personal beliefs and needs. It does not. If reading a lengthy blog is too much for a person, there are plenty of other formats they can use. YouTube is full of videos, long and short, on a variety of topics. You can even find me there. They can even interact strictly with Snapchat or Instagram if they choose. But no one is going to be demanding that I shorten my blogs to suit their short attention spans.
When we write short blogs for those with short attention spans, what we are actually doing is creating short attention spans for the millions of other readers who would otherwise be totally engrossed in a longer blog. I do not believe in the virtue of developing short attention spans. This is what creates much of what is wrong in our world and here is how. It creates the underdevelopment of the ability to see long-term effects and consequences in life. It creates people who do not think before they act, speak or try to regulate society to suit their agendas in the moment. This, to me, is a gross disservice to humanity.
I had someone else tell me that I use too many “big words” that “no one understands.” To this I simply responded with, “Then get a dictionary.” I need not “dumb down” my writing for anyone. When a person is able to use large words and present vast concepts, it is a sign of their intelligence. I am not one who is ever going to play dumb just to make others feel comfortable. And if someone is not comfortable with how I write or speak, they can either up their intelligence game or just move on. But do not expect me to play dumb. That will not be happening.
For those of you who do enjoy my blogs for what they are, here is what I have for you today:
Have you ever walked through an incredibly difficult time and wondered why the heck that had to happen? Or, better still, have you ever done so, come out on the other side, and realized that there is vast beauty on the other side of it? If so, if you have come through it, not unscathed, but able to find some beauty in something in the aftermath, then you have accomplished a form of transmutation. Transmutation is not the misguided approach to difficulty that says we must deny the difficulty or that we must diminish it or even be grateful for it. Transmutation is the process of experiencing the difficulty and finding the “silver lining,” if you will. It is the recognition that, even though that difficulty was not necessary in our lives in any way, it is something that, once experienced, has also brought us to a realization that we would otherwise not have had. That is much different that giving the difficulty, or those involved in creating the difficulty, credit for your growth. You would have grown anyway. That realization of beauty was always within you, waiting to be discovered. The others just gave you ample opportunity to look at it. So never give them credit. I have mentioned this part in past blogs, but it is worth re-stating.
Here is the thing. People often feel that life “should” be filled with sunshine and that without the sunshine there is something wrong. Let’s face it, a lot of people think that the darkness is bad, the darkness is even evil. There is nothing more untrue. We cannot have light without the dark. We cannot have dark without the light. That is why life is full of ups and downs. It is about the balance of these things. That balance is something that must start with the individual him/herself. It is not something that we can rely upon others to accomplish for us. It is part of the work that is necessary in becoming a well-rounded human being. That way we don’t become ignorant fanatics in life. Once we embrace the inner darkness we can find the gems that are hidden there, just waiting to be discovered by us. After all, if the sun is always out, we will never get to appreciate the moon or the stars.