How often did any philosopher, writer, or scientist that I’ve studied from the distant past (you know, pre-internet) get a chance to put their ideas or work out into the public and get feedback almost immediately? Probably none. Most great writers and thinkers probably spent a lot more time than I do quietly reading and writing, maybe talking to a few friends or family members over dinner or coffee, or just thinking alone on the porch or in front of the fire. Then they wrote in their journals, read their old journal entries, and re-wrote old ideas with more information they had gathered.
I’m sitting here angry because anything I write on the spur of the moment and post online gets very few “likes” or “views”. When I reflect, I can see what I’m doing. I realize I’m being impatient. And I’m letting social media distract me from really thinking, feeling, reading, and processing. I’m moving on to the next thing too quickly and not going back over what I’ve already written. I need to slow down. Find time to think. Stop giving myself tasks to do and things to occupy my curiosity and just be quiet. Listen, read, write, repeat. Maybe some day my ideas will get out there, maybe not. But maybe I’ll just be a better person to the people that I interact with every day.
Something I heard in my bible study recently, let your relationships develop in a community. That’s paraphrased, but this is what I’m taking from it. She was talking about finding a biblical mentor, like Paul was for Timothy. If you’re in a community of women working for Christ, you’ll find one. You just need to be patient and listen. It’s the same outside Christian work, if there is any such thing really, work outside your faith. How will I find people that I can talk to, listen to, learn from, and bounce ideas off of? By being in the world doing things. I can be kind, gentle, and a good listener. I can ask questions and write down ideas. I can offer my point of view in quiet ways. And I can write. And what I write I can also read and re-write.
I need to work toward making myself a better person, a better communicator. Like my bible study says, “You can’t give love, if you don’t have any.” and “And you have to know Jesus to share Him.” I need to know myself, too. I need to educate myself more completely before I can educate others. I can’t just jump up with every thought and insist everyone think I’m brilliant.