Friday, July 22, 2011

Everyone Should Write

I just finished running with two of my closest friends in the world.  I used to be a hard-core runner, but have completely fallen off the wagon.  Now I'm trying my best to get back to it because I am grossly out of shape.  But on this particular morning, I was running just so that I could hang out with Mike and Dale.  I've run a lot of miles with these guys.  I was there to watch both of them complete their first marathons (different races, mind you) and swelled with pride as they crossed the finish line knowing that they had spent many of their miles training for those races with me.  Over the years of traversing the roads, paths and parks of Columbia, we have bonded and become great friends.

As they ran off into the hideously hot and humid morning air leaving me behind to reminisce about the glory days when I could run for longer than 30 minutes at a time, I realized that both of them blessed me this morning by sharing some of their own random observations about life.  It's good to have friends like this.  Words are exchanged and I come away encouraged and challenged.  It's a shame I have to get up at 4:30 AM on the hottest morning of the year to reap these benefits.  These guys should do me a favor and start a blog so that I can tap into their wisdom whenever the mood strikes me.  Don't they realize how much we could all benefit from their unique insights?

Hmmmm.  (that's the sound I make when I am thinking)

We are all unique.  We all have different experiences and have learned different lessons over the course of our very different lives.  Do you know what this means?  Well, it means a lot of things.  For purposes of this particular mud puddle, it means that you know something that no one else does.  You may be unknowingly holding the key to unlocking the mystery that I have been struggling with for the last 20 years.  (Highly unlikely, since I'm not aware of any mystery that I've been dealing with for that long.  Except for understanding women.  And we all know there is no key to that mystery.  Anyway, you get the point.)

Why aren't you sharing what you know with the rest of us?  Some of us obsessive-compulsive types really are interested in hearing what you have to say.  If it's nothing new under the sun, no harm done.  If it's a glimpse into a new way of thinking, that's a very beautiful thing.

I have found that I enjoy having a blog.  I have tried to pinpoint what it is that I like about writing and sharing my thoughts in a forum such as this.  It could be that I am just looking for affirmation and wanting pats on the back (who wouldn't want that?); yet I believe it is more than that.

I think I know things.  (Gosh, I hate the way that sounds.  It sounds so arrogant.)

Arrogant or not, it's what I think.  I'm not completely sure that I know anything, but as long as I think I know some things I'll keep talking about them just in case someone else hasn't thought about them before.  I enjoy that.  I enjoy the conversation and talking about matters that I've never talked about and thinking along lines previously foreign to me.

All of this to say that I wish everyone would at a minimum write, whether it be in a personal journal, public memoir or blog such as this.  Putting thoughts and abstract ideas into written words is a wonderful discipline that will always benefit the writer himself (or herself) and might just benefit everyone who has the opportunity to read those words that are shared.  Seeing the world through a different pair of eyes is precious and profound.

Think about it.  Write about it.  Dale and Mike, you too.


  1. Awesome!!! And please, if they do not start writing, please do it for them because I am not going to get up at 4:30 and/or exercise. God bless!

  2. Pablo, thanks for the pat on the back AND making me laugh all at the same time. Wait a minute! You posted that at 7:28 AM. Isn't that early for you?

  3. YES. I also love to hear what other people think about. And I do wish everyone would write. Felic posted a picture of our great-grandmother on facebook yesterday. She was very special to me, but I was only 6 when she died and looking at the picture I thought, "Who WAS she?" I wished she had journaled so I could see what she thought about most and what her hopes and wishes were. Everyone should write. I agree.

  4. Hey Brett- as always, great post. I also think you know things, and you always seem to leave me with some piece of wisdom or some notion that I can mull over for a day or so. So I encourage you to keep sharing, and without hesitation of feeling arrogant. I too think it would be nice to read others thoughts (for those of us that struggle to wake before the sun), but I offer an opinion I've developed from my experiences.
    I am similarly blessed to have spent hours and hours, and miles upon miles with some of my very best friends. Some of whom I haven't spoken with in years, and many who will forever be dear to me. I have more fond memories of runs with these friends than I can even recount, and many that I can recall each stride along Columbia's many familiar trials. When you mention your runs with Mike and Dale, it warmly reminds me of runs with some of my running pals. The stories, jokes, advice, support, bickering, silliness, and oh yes SILENCE. In addition to the quality conversations shared on those runs, it was sometimes the miles of silence that strengthened these bonds. I'm sure you agree that there is something about the blood, sweat, and tears shared among running partners, that others cannot entirely relate to. They bring a group together in a way that seems insane to many, but somehow create an amazing experience. Those things partially defined my life for over a decade, and can't necessarily be replaced through the written word. So...though I do love reading the thoughts of wise people, I also enjoy the thought of wise people sharing in one of my loves. So I not only encourage you to continue to share your thoughts, but also to continue to share those morning memories with great friends.


  5. Timothy, GREAT comments! Since I admire you and your running achievements, I love hearing you express in words the very real bonds that are forged when you join others in a common endeavor which ultimately transcends the activity itself. As you say, you may not have run with some of these guys in years, but neither the passage of time nor a loss in fitness will ever diminish the mutual respect that exists in these friendships that were built on miles and miles of just being side by side. Thank you for this contribution and letting us splash in one of your mud puddles.

  6. Brett - I appreciate the encouragement to promote more folks to write. I have found that the more I write the more I think. Then not only does it spur me to think more, it spurs me to think deeper and lastly to consider the importance of thinking correctly. By the way, my consideration of thinking correctly includes considering how I might need to change my thinking, on a matter or even in general.
    Keep stirring. Thank you for your admonition and your sharing your writing and thinking.