Okay…this will not actually be an ode. Because odes involve poetry. I used to write poetry, and who ever reads that? I think we still have a Poet Laureate in the United States. I wonder who it is?
I recall timidly bringing a poem I had written to my English teacher when I was a freshman in college. It was my second semester, and I had just turned 18. This was a person I admired so much that I can’t remember his name. He graciously took it home with him to read in peace and quiet.
The next day, he said, I read your poem, and it sucks. (Well, he didn’t use those exact words.) He said, it’s way too personal and Sylvia Plath-ish. No one will ever read this. If you want people to read what you write, you need to appeal to a broader audience. And (letting me down gently) he said, there is no doubt that you can write, but poetry is not the road you need to take.
Appeal to a broader audience? What broader audience? At 18, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a broader audience. I thought anything I had to say would be endlessly fascinating to other people, but the professor’s comments planted a seed in my brain. That seed said, I’m 18. I have no idea what life is really like. How could I have been so arrogant as to believe that anyone would want my opinion on…anything?
As much as it hurt my feelings at the time, I believe that Dr. Nameless started me on the road to what is called, in layman’s terms, growing up.
So…back to Facebook. I like it a lot. It’s a way to stay in touch, quickly. But yesterday I thoroughly pissed off a friend and her friend by making a disparaging comment about Christians. It all started with, believe it or not, a comment about Tiger Woods. What I said, pretty much word for word is: I’m not a Christian, but if I were, I’d like to think I’d be more forgiving than judgemental, which is my problem with Christians. Say one thing (forgive) and do another (judge). Oh my. What was I thinking?
I like Facebook as I said, but I sometimes forget how public it is. I forget how incensed people can become when you disagree with them. Especially when they can disagree with you online, as opposed to disagreeing with you in person, when you could, for example, shoot them. I’m kidding of course about the shooting part.