I have little faith in dualisms, because frankly, they’ve rarely served the world any good. There is one aspect, however, in which I believe there are two types of people: those who feel sad that there is fear and ugliness in the world and think they can do nothing to change it, and those who believe that by sending more beauty out into the world they can make it more beautiful. I hope I can be the latter and make the world more beautiful with my writing.
Why? Because everything you do will have an effect. I choose to make my effect one that will hopefully inspire more people to feel good about themselves, rather than bad.
I was discussing growing up with my friends and we jokingly called ourselves ‘the serious children’. We never argued with our teachers; we worried that we would make trouble for other people, so little by little we became very serious. Not in each other’s company, certainly, and not in the company of our families, but anywhere where there were people we couldn’t trust completely, emotions were kept at minimum just in case we might offend or hurt someone.
This might sound like politeness, but there is a downside. I don’t know why or how I became a serious child, but little by little my life was filled with people whose sole purpose seemed to be to remind me that my existence was not… desirable. So I became more serious, less troublesome. The teachers might have liked me for it, but at what cost?
I rarely spoke my mind. I held back. I thought twice, thrice about everything I said, judging every word on its likelihood of causing backlash from the people who sought out my every mistake; my every little fall; every misplaced word.
My purpose in sharing this isn’t to bring you down, but to share something valuable I’ve learned about life: People have an effect on each other. Now that I’ve accepted this as a truth, I intend to spend the next year learning to speak my mind. When I have an overwhelming urge to say something, I intend to stop biting my lip and tell people when I appreciate them. When I admire them. When I see something and think of them. When I disagree with them. And apologise when I hurt them.
This is writing the world more beautiful.
Words are one of our most powerful tools in influencing the world, because they rarely go unnoticed. And if they do, we can always speak them again, or publish them, or shout them from the rooftops until they are allowed to take effect.
So, I’ve grown up as a serious child who only dared to stand up to anyone at home – now, I hope to become the curious, playful, open, joyful adult who, if necessary, dares to stand up to the world. With everything I do, everything I say, and indeed, everything I write, I intend to make the world more beautiful. For it is too full of wonderment for me to ignore, and too much of it needs changing, so I take action – if only through the humble practice of my art.