I’ve struggled with this question a bit. We live in a world where we can share our words in a matter of seconds, and that can be scary. When we publish or speak our thoughts, it can feel like we are either preaching to the choir or speaking to deaf ears. People have usually already decided what they believe, and instead of seeking education or enlightenment, they simply look for confirmation in their current beliefs. No matter what they believe, they will find the confirmation they are looking for, because there are many sides to an argument.
I have thoughts I want to share, but am I reaching anyone? I’m a science nerd, not a writer, so will anyone even listen to me without flashy headlines, sweet promises, or smooth words? Am I doing any good, or am I wasting my time? As a matter of fact, no, sharing my thoughts is not a waste of time. It’s necessary.
Tossing around ideas is how we discover ourselves. It’s how we learn what’s going on in our world, develop our personal beliefs, and make a difference. When we take the time to write or speak our opinions, we reach a better state of understanding. Putting a belief out in the open forces us to defend it with valuable arguments. This requires us to think deep, bringing us to a higher level of self-understanding. We become confident, our minds open, and we learn the value of what others have to say.
With open minds, we listen to other people’s viewpoints – ideas are planted in our minds like seeds. We explore those thoughts, reading up on the topic and noticing other similar ideas. Everything we hear and read is deposited in our minds. Over time, successive layers of validation begin to form around what started as just a passing thought, until they form certainty.
So, I choose to write, and share my ideas, not because I want to make my readers believe anything in particular, but because I want to add my contribution, a minimal layer of validation to whatever you’re working towards. You may agree with what I write, growing your belief. Or you may disagree, strengthening instead what you already believe. Either way, you’ll have added substance to your idea. And eventually, layer after layer, you’ll have an unshakeable, rock-hard personal belief.
What do you want to stand for? Decide what matters to you – what is worth pursuing. Cultivate that idea until your belief is solid and irrefutable. Then share it.
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton