Friday, November 13, 2015

What Should I Write About?: Possible Titles and Topics for Blog Posts

Lately, I've had a flood of possible blog post titles and topics flow through my mind:

The difference between compassion and anger

Who is it OK to be cruel to?

How to destroy a marriage

Varieties of doubt

And one of my favorites:

Once upon a time, before the Internet (I was working on that one through the night last night, while I was half asleep)

The titles sound more negative than I intend them to. Actually, what prompts me to think of blog post titles and topics is seeing what I think are one-sided, less than carefully thought out statements or attitudes and asking myself, "How could I explain what I think, in a way that could actually get the attention and maybe soften the hearts and enlighten the minds of people who I think are blinded by anger or other kinds of distorted thinking?"

I also (more humbly) think of writing as a way to work through issues I'm struggling with or trying to understand.

So . . . I don't feel like I have time at the moment to write at length on any of these topics. But here's a brief hint as to how I might proceed:

The difference between compassion and anger: There is a difference.

Who is it OK to be cruel to?: No one of course. But especially not the people you actually live with. And not the other people you are closest to. (I've also been thinking about the dangers of viewing yourself as a victim: in your concern for the pain others are inflicting, you may be blind to the pain you are inflicting on others.)

How to destroy a marriage: This would look at the kinds of attitudes and behavior--and the kinds of blindness--calculated to destroy or damage a marriage, and by analogy, any kind of relationship that could and should be based on love and trust. 

Varieties of doubt: Doubt can mean many kinds of things--from uncertainty and questions to fear, anxiety, suspicion, to complaining, criticizing, attacking. We all deal with doubt of some kind, in some degree, and should view others' "doubts," of whatever kind, with understanding and compassion. Recognizing the various meanings of doubt, I thought it would be helpful to see what scripture--what the words of Christ in particular--have to say on the matter. Perhaps the most compassionate thing to do is not just to validate people's inclination to doubt but to help facilitate healing, hope, and trust.

I came up with some sentences that might fit in the "varieties of doubt" blog post but might need a different setting: "Anger is addictive, and doubt is contagious. Actually it's probably fair to say both of them are both addictive and contagious. I know this from both inside experience and from observation."

Once upon a time, before the Internet: Ah, this would be a good one. I remember a time before the Internet and before cable TV. It was a less exciting time perhaps, and there's much I value in our current interconnected world. But I wonder if the drama is getting a bit out of hand--is revealing itself to be (among other things) seductive and addictive--and is distracting us from our primary responsibilities and relationships.

So where should I start? Suggestions are welcome.