Saturday, July 29, 2017

Writing Challenge: Day 2

It’s been too long since I wrote on a regular basis, so I am doing a 7-day writing challenge.

Yesterday’s prompt was to tell your story. I’ve done that in my introduction page, and as an introvert, don’t feel the need to publish what I wrote for that one.

Today’s prompt: What makes you angry about the world?

That’s a tough one for me because I see “anger” as unproductive. When you speak in anger, you’re more likely to speak hastily and from an adversarial viewpoint. You want to convince the other party you are right and they are wrong, dang it.

But how does that really help anything?

How can you persuade the “other side” if you knock them down and tell them what’s “wrong” with their position? Mostly likely, all you’re going to do is make them push back harder, dig in even deeper.

So I decided to approach it with a different word.

What stirs really strong emotions for me about the world; what am I passionate about?

Intolerance of other opinions.

I am not talking compromising values just to not offend another person. I am NOT politically correct. I have strong opinions (even when I don’t always voice them).

What I am talking about is not acknowledging that people disagree; that other opinions have value, too.

Example: Here in the US, there are too many people, on BOTH “sides of the aisle” who are adamant that their political party is right. What bothers me is not that. What bothers me is when people on BOTH sides get obnoxious, start name-calling, belittling, and assuming everyone in the other party is evil. The “other side” has just as much right to their opinion as you do.

Poaching, animal abuse, and similar topics.

Animal abuse, to me, is a crime that sickens me. How anyone could do some of the things they do to animals? When they up the ante and do something just for profit, like whacking off a rhino’s horn or killing lions just for the bones, that disgusts me. I’m pretty sure if I had audience for it I could get pretty passionate on what should be done with perpetrators of such crimes.

Along the same lines is any kind of abuse of another person.

If you feel so little about yourself that you have to cut others down just to make yourself feel good, then you need help. We should all focus on doing things that improve the people and world around us, not cutting others down.

So that’s a few of my “hot buttons”. There are other topics I could spend ages talking/writing about; other things that stir emotions, but those are a few.

More important, however, is why a writing prompt like this is helpful.

It can help get someone started. People are a lot more likely to start writing/talking about things they believe in and that stir emotions in them than if you gave a generic topic. And if the goal of the challenge is to get people started, this is a good way to do that. This approach could also be used when you want to get to know someone – ask them something similar. IF you dare. (Just remember if you do that they could have some viewpoints that are hot topics for you and you might not agree with them.)

Your turn.

Take some time to think about what you’re passionate about. Then come back and share in the comments how the exercise helped you. 

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