If you’re experiencing something at this moment, if you’re reading a book or an article or listening to music, you are making a judgment about that thing.
You are deciding what it means. Not just to you, but in general. What makes it up? Where did it come from? What was the motivation for writing it?
We, as readers, as consumers, have to consider all these things before making a judgment call about something. I don’t think we can necessarily say what we think about something until we know why it was created (or at least attempt to make an educated guess).
We should try to understand where the author was coming from. Perhaps there is a different meaning than you might think?
Recently, I wrote an article about the reasons why I liked someone. Simple enough, yes? Not quite.
The response from my peers and friends was overall a positive one, but there was always one resounding question that rang from a majority of readers:
“Who is it about?!”
Seriously? If you think that’s the most important part of my article and other articles similar to mine, you’re missing the point.
It’s not the who, my dear readers, but the why.
I wrote it, much like I write a majority of things, because I needed to. I had no other option of getting those thoughts out there but to type them. And honestly I didn’t know how to make much sense of them until I could read them and edit them.
I felt something very strongly about someone but was not in a situation where I was able to express that to them, so I wrote it down.
I needed to understand how I felt about them, not just so I knew but so I could get over it. My feelings weren’t healthy for that person and honestly I wish I would’ve written it sooner.
For me, the article was very personal. In the moment I wrote it, I was experiencing an intense emotion (which is rare for me, I’m rather stoic at times) and I thought it would be therapeutic for me to write it down.
That person is important to me, and I care for them. But it’s not who I care about that matters to me, it’s why I care for them. It’s neat to think about the fact that I notice things about this person that they might not even notice themselves.
I think we as readers should be more open to writers and their reasons for putting pen to paper (or in this case, keyboard to a word document). Perhaps there is more to the story than you might think. Perhaps someone needed to get something out there and writing it seemed the best outlet.
I think the overall point I’m getting at here is to encourage us as a body of readers to delve a little deeper next time. Don’t just skim over the title of something and assume you know what the author is talking about. Soak it in. Read it three times if that helps.
Just understand that there’s more to what you’re reading than you might think, and that’s the part that’s beautiful.