If you visit this website frequently, you realize that–other than my fiction–I tend to focus on fairly noncontroversial topics like movies, books, TV shows, and sports. Sure, movie fans can get worked up, as can book lovers, but it’s not like anyone from my personal life is going to stop talking to me because of my take on Justice League.
My fiction is a different matter. I’ve dealt with miscarriage, politics, religion, and everything else society tells us to avoid discussing, but I’ve done so with nuance and embedded within the lives of my characters.
On this blog, though, where anyone can pop in with minimal effort, I exercise quite a bit of self-restraint.
Do I have opinions about Donald Trump? Of course. Do I think about the NFL and its flag controversy? Absolutely. Do I firmly believe we have severe problems in our great nation regarding class and race? Definitely. But I tend to avoid writing about those things because, well, I don’t want to deal with the fallout.
I will often talk myself out of addressing those topics because I fear professional complications, personal ramifications, or even violent repercussions against my family. Frankly, it’s easier to say nothing–to avoid making waves.
But here’s the thing–I can avoid making waves. The fact that I have every advantage in the world is not lost upon me. I can sit back, keep my mouth shut, and keep living a pretty sweet life. No one is bothering me. No one is oppressing me. No one is attacking me. No one is threatening me. I can stay the course and be just fine because of my lot in life.
Is that right?
I don’t think it is.
Some would disagree, but I feel that I’ve been given a gift in that I can express myself through the written word. My ideas flow through my fingers fairly concisely and articulately. I am able to write about important issues whereas others can’t.
But I often choose not to.
Is that right? If I believe in something, and if the expression of my beliefs could have positive implications for others, am I under a moral obligation to voice those thoughts?
I think I am.
Going forward, I’m going to strive to write about topics that I deem important regarding politics, social justice, religion, and community.
It terrifies me to do so.
Which is why I know I should follow through with this endeavor.
(Did you enjoy this article? Check out Scott William Foley’s latest book HERE!)