Openness, Vulnerability, Etc.

By | May 22, 2013

At Bold Boundaries, I was a part of a brief conversation about openness in writing. It seems that the most open writing (typically spoken of as the most honest) is the best writing, or that which readers connect with and appreciate most. This also seems true in relationships; the best and closest relationships are those in which we are the most open and honest. The challenge is that being open and sharing leaves us vulnerable. And not everyone out there is safe. There are many people who will, for various reasons, criticize and judge us for what we share. They may or may not have harmful motives, but their reactions can wound us nonetheless.

Bold Boundaries sparked a desire in me to potentially share more openly. I’ve been thinking about this however and I’m not sure what I would share. Do I have anything of value to say? I’m not so sure. As a white, middle-class, American, straight, Christian male, I (apparently) can’t be much more privileged than I am. So will anyone outside of a few friends care about what I have to say? Do I have anything new to add, or would I just be adding to the noise?

Beyond this, it sometimes feels like there’s no hope in knowing anything or making any progress in learning. Everything I think and believe, someone else thinks and believes differently. With most subjects, as you dig deeper they become more complicated. At first everything may appear simple and black and white, but the true reality is seldom this clean cut. So I can talk and make some points, but do I really know anything? Or am I just blowing hot air?

I’m sure I’ll continue to write. I have always written primarily for myself anyway. I do go back and forth between trying to be open and hiding. Perhaps I’ll try to do more of the former, but it is of course challenging.

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