A lot of writers are, I suppose, as word count determines the length of our books.
I’ve always had this embedded belief that the best books are the long ones, those two-inch thick ones. East of Eden. War and Peace. Any Harry Potter novel.
But I’m starting to realize that this isn’t always true.
Haven’t we all read books (or watched epic-long movies or listened to really long songs) where at some point, usually in the middle, we think, Hurry up … get to the point?
Sure, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a great song, but isn’t there something exhilarating about about a three-minute song, one that starts quick, ends quick, leaves you wanting more?
And it’s not just with writing or music or movies.
I can be very opiniated, eager to “share” my knowledge with others. It often leads to an argument (or, “healthy discussion”). But in most of these instances, what I really need is to talk less and listen more.
And if this is true for me, it’s true for others … and for our society.
We shout. We accuse. We label those with different views without stopping to consider what the label means.
The word “bigot” has become a commonplace accusation thrown at people with differing viewpoints. But it’s being misused.
“Bigot” doesn’t mean someone who holds a different viewpoint. “Bigot” means someone who refuses to accept one with a different viewpoint. In most cases, those calling others “bigots” are the actual bigots, as they won’t accept someone who thinks differently.
I don’t have this mastered. I don’t even have this noviced. My default is to spout off with instantaneous reaction.
But what if? How would it look?
Less talk, more hearing.
Less judgment, more empathy.
Less noise, more silence.
Less name calling, more name honoring.
Less self-glorification, more repentance.
Less accusation, more understanding.