This Spring and Summer I have spent some of my time re-reading. Textbooks, interest books, fiction from high school and college, family communications, friend communications, journal entries, this blog.
What I’ve learned is that I have not changed significantly over time. My perspective has rounded, though. In some cases, my perspective is 180 degrees from where it was when I first read or wrote. In some cases, my perspective followed through the 180 degree mark and fell right back to the starting point having circled full round. For the most instances, my perspective remains more or less the same. And most of that is: don’t tell me how to live my life.
As I have read what I’ve written over time, it was easy to see that I have taken more ownership of my choices. Thus is life and the natural progression, I believe. As I read other authors’ pieces, both published authors and my friends and families, I now expect them to take ownership of themselves as well. Whereas before I might understand why or sympathize with the excuse(s) offered. I don’t understand much anymore about excuses. I have more sympathy, or is it empathy, than ever, though.
While it has always been easy for me to distance myself from anyone, it is even easier now than ever. I feel no need to please anyone outside of the seven hearts in this family. And, now, when I re-read 1984, or My Side of the Mountain, or The Scarlett Letter, that ability to distance myself is making me a better reader allowing me greater empathy.
Ultimately, I am disappointed that teachers from high school and college told me I should identify with these characters. Why not let a student look at the person for who that person is? Why be afraid of recognizing what is different about the character? I do not understand…