Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On Not Laughing

One of my friends took a big risk yesterday. She sent me part of a copy of a story she's been writing. I think I'm one of the first people to read it, and I'm honored 1) that she chose me and 2) that I'm allowed to edit! It's a huge responsibility- someone's hopes and dreams there in your hands, or on a computer screen. I'm also really proud of her for even sending it to me. For her, I think it's a huge step forward in sharing her work with the world.

And it should be shared, because my friend is a fantastic writer. She blogs, and even though I wasn't originally supposed to know about her blog, and found it completely by accident, I love reading her posts. Her philosophies and point of view are so original and completely accurate. And I can't say enough good things about her writing style- she's lyrical, with just enough emotion to convey her ideas, but enough esoterica to keep it anonymous.

One of her recent posts expressed a fear of people laughing at her and her writing. She is completely entitled to that, as are we all. Everyone will be ridiculed at some point in their lives, whether it be for something stupid they wrote, said, or did, or something deeper, like sexual orientation or religion. It's part of human nature to laugh, but not to ridicule. There is a huge difference between lighthearted laughter and cruel, pointed snickering. I may laugh at my friend for walking into a wall, but I would never make fun of someone for being gay, lesbian, or transgendered, or Christian or Muslim or Jewish. I have friends who fall under all those categories. If I laughed, I'd be alienating friends extremely quickly.

But back to my friend. I'm doing the opposite of laughing right now. I just read through her story, and I'm in awe. I could never write something that good. I know her fears are well founded, as she doesn't like to share her work, but I am extremely glad I am one of those who gets to view it.

I am definitely not laughing.

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