The prominence of writing

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No doubt it’s something everyone should be able to do, but often times seems to be a bit neglected when we think in terms of the big picture.

There are so many things that we have to be thankful for right this very minute, in all sincerity because someone once upon a time knew how to pick up a pen and articulate something very important.

As middle school principal James Catlin himself recently expressed, “When we are writing, we are thinking.”

This statement in and of itself is one-hundred percent true.

When you sit down and actually read the Declaration of Independence, you truthfully cannot help but deeply respect and admire the intellect and articulation that went into it. Thomas Jefferson completely grasped the power and lasting effect that writing can do.

If our Founding Fathers understood the power of reading and writing, there is absolutely not excuse for putting a restrain on it now. Let that sink in and sink in deep.

Once again when we are writing are thinking.

When we sit down to write, we activate our minds in ways that we certainly never can by purely talking, or even having the most intellectual of conversations. It’s just us and our thoughts, and nobody can rob of us of that.

Now let’s be brutally honest. Other tools and subjects such as science, mathematics, history, art and physical health are all powerful and essential tools in and of themselves. Absolutely.

That being said, writing truly has the power to reach out to someone you may not even know and make a genuine human connection. This is a fact.

Of course when we talk about the Declaration of Independence along with the Constitution of the United States, these are of course the most talked about examples of the authority writing possesses, and rightfully so.

One other terrific and probably less known example of the impact writing and literature holds is perhaps a book called, The Sixteenth Round.

For those that have not heard of this book do not worry as it is hard to come by, but did provide the inspiration for the Hollywood film, The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington.

The concept of the entire book was in fact a painful cry for help by 60’s middleweight contender, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who had been falsely imprisoned for three murders in 1966 in Patterson, New Jersey. Carter wrote the book extensively while incarcerated strongly proclaiming his innocence, and desperately praying that his words would be heard.

Maybe they wouldn’t be heard, but they would certainly be read. And reading is just as powerful.

In his mind and heart, his sacred manuscript was written on an old beat-up prison typewriter, and was his only hope of ever regaining his freedom. Carter would often lash out violently if he felt his draft was about to be violated or confiscated.

After spending nearly two decades in a maximum-security prison and with his manuscript now published with very little public notice; by some divine fate the book reached the right people that were convinced of his innocence.

After years of intense efforts and hopping through numerous legal processes, Carter was indeed found to be innocent and was released from prison on November 7, 1985, by U.S. District Court Judge, H. Lee Sarokin.

As depicted in the film adaptation, Washington would deliver a memorable and intriguing line in regard to the power of writing.

He would say, “I discovered when I sat down to write I was doing more than just telling a story. You see, what I found was that writing is actually a weapon. And it’s more powerful than a fist could ever be.”

That line right there says it all when it comes to the true supremacy of writing. For a man who had absolutely no chance of regaining a precious life he once had, to regain it 20 years later by simply by sitting down and articulating his thoughts is sincerely astonishing. 

As the old saying goes, the pen truly is mightier than the sword. 

Now make absolutely no mistake on this one. Although that saying is absolutely accurate, the wisdom of being able to know how to use it justly is what differentiates between good and evil. Long story short, it is a weapon that should only be used for good. 

Of course, that does not necessarily mean that what is written will always make someone feel warm and fuzzy. Carter wrote the truth, and the truth will always prevail. And yes the truth can and does hurt badly sometimes. 

A fine example of what this means is although this reporter greatly loves giving his fellow community members the voice and recognition they so greatly deserve; the time does occasionally come to use the pen rather than the sword.

Now with the exception of what we just talked about with “Hurricane” Carter, in a courtroom we regularly can find a man or woman being found guilty of some very heinous acts. That right there is a prime example of the time to use the pen as we say. By then it is not mindless social media gossip, street rumors or senseless garbage. Such things have no place in the immense and vast intellectual world of a lawful courtroom. What is being presented is based on concrete facts and evidence by men, and women who have been trained and educated to handle such matters. 

When an individual is found guilty of such horrific things such as theft, forgery, assault, rape, murder or child molestation, that is an example of when to use the pen and make sure the public knows about it. 

No, we of course no longer shame someone publicly by sticking their head in a wooden hole and then throw tomatoes at them. Not anymore, but we do use our intellect and our education to reveal the truth that our public deserves to know. By then it is not a rumor it is a fact, and the facts are the truth. There is absolutely no such thing as “alternative facts.” 

By sitting down and calmly reading what is being shared with you, whether pleasant or not it forces us to think long and hard while taking a firm look at ourselves and what we have learned.

This kind of deep connection may not be reached by just sitting and talking with someone. Although we as human beings do need human contact with each other, our minds need writing and literature. 

As we have talked before, this is why we can’t ban books and we certainly can’t restrain writing. 

Our minds need it to survive and keep thinking.