A few days ago a friend of mine was a reading a blog and she kept telling people to come read it on her laptop. I didnt go over to read the post, but it somehow crept its way to the usual lunch session with friends. Apparently this person wrote a pretty negative post about something, being a literature student and having read some of the worst things ever published on paper, I have found that very little surprises me about what people think and put on paper (or digitally). I listened to their conversation intently with a little bit of regret not having read the post myself. Primarily because if I did I would have been more engaged in the conversation itself. But from the bits and pieces that I did collect though, I realized that my main concern had little to do with the issue rather than the writing itself.
I believe entirely that "the pen is mightier than the sword." Writers (blogs or books) have a social responsibility. Writers are the social commentators of society and the authorial defined society in which is jotted down will one day be used as material to define the context and situation of society. The writer is the reflection of its society. And even though most writers have found glory in defying convention, much honor has also been placed by those who stayed within the lines of societal norms.
When I write, sometimes, I write with emotion, with anger, sadness and a whole lot of other negative emotions. But sometimes, I wish, people would be a little bit more positive. Just so that in a 100 years people will read these "digital net of information" and think of how positive the days were "back then" and strive to be just as positive.
Bahz Lurhmann once said :-
"Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rises, politicians will philander, you too will grow old, and when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders."
Maybe thats exactly what the future needs. Maybe what the future needs is something written 50 years ago which tells them that politicians were noble, and that prices were reasonable and that children really did respected their elders. Maybe by giving this to them they'll strive for a better society. A more positive society.
There is just too much negativity in the world today. Never-ending civil war in Africa. Natural disasters destroying nations and families. A prime time news session filled with murders and suicides. Maybe all these are happening because there are less and less positive things written nowadays. People spend hours noting on blogs and books and reports and journals and stories that the world has gone bad, that our society has decayed, and all this without ever really acknowledging the success we have had over time. Malaysians have sent a man to space. Our illiteracy rate is lowest of all the third world nations. Malays now are 11 times more involved in running the nation then they were in 1952. Chinese in Malaysia today are 14 times more richer (considering gdp and inflation rate) compared to 1930 and the number of professional Indians in our country has steadily grown over the years in increasing numbers. Yes we have problems but no nation is perfect, no civilization is perfect, Rome was not built in a day.
I am a fairly open minded person. I am far from perfect, if anything there have been mistakes in my life, in the immediate past, which I am not proud of. I have often at times let my emotions get the better of me. I have swayed from the right path and in the process condemned myself to total idiocy too....
But the world need not be a worst place because of it, and writers need to acknowledge it. A thousand years ago "history were written by kings who have hanged heroes." But nowadays, with the internet, those who are writing now, are writing history. What we say, or write, are the words in which our world today is being painted through our eyes. How the picture turns out, very much relies on the words we use today. Most people write for leisure, just "venting" they call it. But writing is much more than just that. Writing is about convincing people, injecting ideas into their brains and with that, writing must come, with a specific set of responsibilities. One cannot write purely on the basis of free speech without having the intellectual courtesy of at least "trying not to offend anyone." One cannot write simply on the grounds that "this is my opinion and you have to respect it even if you dont like it."
I love the fact that more and more people are blogging nowadays. With the vast amount of information available online whether through academic research or day-to-day experience, these information can seem like a finite number of books. And very much like books, some are written to offend, though it should not be a target that a writer strives for.
People are growing more courageous at writing which is a good thing. Because they know a lot of people are thinking what theyre thinking but someone needs to write it down. But it is a cowardly action in actuality, when you write because you are aware of the fact that when you write something negative, the only consequence you face are a bunch of comments disagreeing with you. Writers all, be aware that what you write affects people. Once youre aware of that fact, why not take a turn and start affecting people in the right way. Im just saying, then again, what do I know. :p