One Wish

Katherine Longshore Reply Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Does it have to be just one?  Our blog theme this week is hard to pin down.  I wish for world peace.  For the sea ice to stop receding and the ocean levels to stop rising.  For more recycling and less consumption.  For Isaac to leave the poor residents of the Gulf Coast alone.  For better education, more libraries, and good grammar.

However, our theme this week is one wish for the world. Donna's post yesterday used a wish that would solve many of the world's ills. It's a wish that I would wish, too. Unfortunately, I can't just write a post saying, "Ditto Donna," as much as I would like to.

 So today, my wish will be for people to think before they speak. Or write. Or tweet.

One of the wonderful things about being a writer whose work is published many months after the initial words are put down is that I can revise. A lame or clunky sentence can be edited and polished and made to shine. A thoughtless description can be changed into something more vivid.

I've recently been writing about a character who more often than not speaks without thinking. These things get her into trouble. and yet, change is difficult. I think we've all had the experience of wanting to take our words back. And I hope I'm not the only one who has deleted a tweet after reconsidering. Perhaps things would be different for certain politicians if they had thought about what they were saying before making comments that makes one look fickle or ignorant. Because in today's world once something is spoken - and certainly once something is written down - it doesn't go away. In fact, sometimes it takes on a life of its own.

Think before you speak. Think about the ripples that will echo out from that statement, that joke, that retort, that opinion. Please continue to have opinions, to speak freely. Just consider the consequences. For a moment. And choose your words, your forum, your responses carefully.

Of course, my wish also ties back in with Donna's. Because when people have empathy, they think about how their words might affect others before they use them. So really, my wish is "Ditto Donna."

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