Social media has leveled the playing field of sharing one’s thoughts. With Facebook, blogs, and pictorial sites like Instagram, anyone who has access to a computer and the Internet can broadcast what they are thinking at any time. Since library science (how to use a library) and philosophy (logic and ethics) are no longer taught in public schools, I’d like to comment on being discerning about the thoughts we read. Not everything we read is worth taking in. Not every famous or celebrity author is worthy of our interest. Not everything we read is true, responsible, ethical, or morally right. I believe that, as a writer in the public sphere – I write on Facebook, my own blog “whatacupoftea.blogspot.com,” here, and in other spaces – I have a responsibility to write truthfully, responsibly, ethically, and morally, as much as I can muster. I am accountable for what I say and how I say it.
As a writer who has a following, I also believe that I am called to exercise good leadership. Having followers, including readers who read what I write, makes me a leader. And being a writer-leader entails being responsible to those who read and follow me. How I interpret and live out that leadership is an individual discernment and a reflection of who I am as a person of integrity and vision.I’m a woman of 65, someone who is deemed a senior citizen and honored to be called an elder, I count the value of self-restraint as a central, core value for a leader. Self-restraint means that I don’t say everything that comes to mind, and I don’t say things that I can lead others to discover for themselves. Self-restraint is, simply put, the discipline to hold myself back so that others can step forward.
The other value that I consider highly important is the use of public speech as teaching. I often write about parenting and families of choice, racial justice, social justice, and church in the Christian context. I write with a bias towards respecting the dignity of every human being and striving for justice for all people. I believe there are opportunities to shine the light on topics that elucidate, educate, and form people to become more fully who they are
meant to be.
I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on this Emerging Voices blog every 8th of the month and occasionally at other times. And I’m looking forward to reading my fellow contributors here, because I think they will have meaningful things to say that are worth reading.