From a young age, reading and writing have always fascinated me. If you’ve read my posts with any degree of frequency, it is not uncommon to hear me remark how talented I believe writers can be because they are able to elicit such emotion in us depending on the subject of the novel we are reading, who the characters are, what they are doing, etc.
This ability to elicit emotion or even have us step into a role is even more fascinating when I think of how obtuse we can be on a day to day basis. I include myself in this criticism as I know, despite my best efforts, that I too am guilty of pushing out all others’ desires, needs and concerns and placing my own above theirs. Do you deny you do this too? Think about it. Do you always let other cars in as you are driving or even people for that matter… do you hold doors or let someone step in front of you in line? Do you give money or assistance to those asking for it?
Now don’t mistake my questions as a determinant of whether you are a good person or not. I am not here to judge and as I already admitted, I am guilty of not always doing these things. It isn’t because I’m trying to be a “bad” person but simply because I am unaware of their situation, their intentions or even how they feel. As such, I’m blind and ignorant to their needs compared to my own.
I recently spoke with an acquaintance who is caring for her brother and she voiced how hard it is to care for someone with mental health issues. It is hard because we as a society don’t necessarily make it easy, but additionally because her brother is frustrating and she has to adjust her way of thinking to remind herself that it isn’t on purpose—he just isn’t in the same state she knew him in so many years ago.
I too am facing something similar in helping an elderly family member who seems to be experiencing the start of memory loss or even dementia. I find myself frustrated only to ground myself on the thought they are unawares to my frustration and not necessarily intending to cause me strife. Bottomline, it is a very difficult thing to step in someone’s shoes or even to give others a true taste of emotion you may feel. A truly talented writer can do this and that in itself is a wonder.
Have a great week and happy writing!