It’s Monday morning. My alarm went off at six, even though I went to bed at almost three. But then again, I have always viewed sleep as an overrated pastime. Spooned up the fluffy creaminess of greek yogurt, bananas and berries mixed in with it, and then heated up a mug of water, poured in the hot chocolate mix, because every day is just fine for hot chocolate. Maybe even in the middle of summer, during a movie.
And now, here is a poem I wrote a couple weeks ago, when I needed desperately to write something. Writer’s block, ya’ll. It’s annoyingly mainstream.
I wonder if it is all over, if it is going to fall apart
For a recent assignment in literature, I was supposed to write a riddle inspired by those given in Jane Austen’s Emma (namely Mr. Elton’s significant one, which was intended to mean Courtship). I had a great deal of fun with it. This riddle is supposed to be from a studious guy to a girl he admires. I was grinning stupidly the whole time I wrote it, because I was thinking, “Gee, why can’t a guy send this to me?” I tend to romanticize, ya know. So do forgive this indulgence in . . . uh . . . sentimentality. It has a lame rhyme, but oh well.
How can you make a difference when your thoughts never leave the page of your diary?
How can you ever be a leader when you never think of something eloquent or powerful to say in a group or crowd?
How can you affect society when you’d rather keep to the back of the room, when you’re so insecure about your ability to debate societal/civil issues?
To clarify what I’m trying to get across, I’ll just say that there are many of us who have so many things to say, but are exhausted by the usual ways of involvement in social or political movements. Of course, it is always possible to overcome shyness in order to debate a particular issue. We are all capable of stretching our limits, and stepping outside our comfort zones. But that does not mean that there are different kinds of leadership. Let me give the definition of this stirring word:
As found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary . . .
: a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.
: the time when a person holds the position of leader
: the power or ability to lead other people
There are people who form organizations, lead Townhall Meetings, participate as public servants and officials. There are leaders in the military. There are senators, congressmen, presidents, and commanders.
And there are the people who use the pen to influence and inspire.
For a long time, I’ve felt extremely insecure whenever I attend teen leadership camps such as TeenPact, or volunteering at rallies and political conventions. I watch other young adults who are far beyond comfortable with giving speeches, debating legislature and various political issues. It’s truly inspiring. And honestly, I’m working hard to overcome my natural shyness and start stepping outside my comfort zone. But I’ve come to discover, as you may have, that we are all different. One person might be excellent at impromptu speech. Another person might have a knack for forming immediate comebacks, making her a valuable member of the debate team. And someone else knows how to organize a group of people to successfully run an organization. There are men and women who rally in wartime, on the battle front, and Statesmen who stir a crowd of people, and win the votes of countrymen for a seat in the government.
But there are still yet others who can capture a thought precisely with the pen, and powerfully express truths and beliefs which amaze and inspire the readers. There are the artists who beautifully render a theme with a sweep of color and excellence of form. There are musicians who compose anthems which resounds in the hearts and minds of the listeners, the lyrics and the swelling notes demanding a thrill. The Rhetorician seeks the explanation, using logic and eloquence of thought to impact the rationale. Creativity can influence, beauty can move.
But the most wonderful thing you must realize is that we are all different, we all have the ability to Lead. As a writer and artist, it is incredibly uplifting to realize that creativity delights and moves, it captures in word or form what a military strategy could never do. Art calls upon the soul for a response. It evokes pathos. It teaches a theme or ideal.
So to all you artists out there, be Your Creative Self, and make a difference!