If you’re here, it’s probably because you searched for me, which hardly anyone does. Some of the things I write about are embarrassing and/or sad. I don’t want just anyone to read what I’ve written. I’m a very private person. So why am I posting this on the Internet? Well, there are some people that I hope will someday have an interest in my life, and will want to know how I feel and my perspective on things.
Another reason for writing — our church leaders have counseled us to keep a journal. Why? President Spencer W. Kimball said “if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations”. [New Era Magazine, Dec, 1980]
Sadly, I’m convinced that the most important people in my life, with a couple of exceptions, have no interest in reading about me right now. So writing all this down is requiring a lot of faith. On the positive side, there is some satisfaction gained from just writing it down even if no one cares. It makes it a little easier to move on with your life.
So, what should I write about in my journal? Pres. Kimball had this counsel:
Your private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant. Your journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.
Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. Personally I have little respect for anyone who delves into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying, whether it be his own or another’s. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story. Why dwell on that one ugly truth about someone whose life has been largely circumspect?
Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life.
What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.
Okay, so I understand it’s important to be truthful without dwelling on the negative — and to avoid criticism. But it’s tricky. I know from experience that it’s nearly impossible not to offend someone when you express any sort of opinion or tell your side of a story, no matter how hard you try to be kind and truthful. I could avoid writing about anything like that altogether, but it would leave out some major parts of my life. Furthermore, it would leave unanswered some critical things that been said about me. Should I just let it all go? Maybe that would be the high road to take, but I believe it would be a disservice to anyone who is interested in learning all sides of a story in an effort to get to the truth.
I believe I am a peacemaker by nature. I avoid conflict at all cost. The criticism I have faced has been the biggest challenge of my life, and leaving out any mention of it would leave a gaping hole in my life. For anyone that might be interested in learning about (and from) my challenges, and how I dealt with them, I hope they will find my posts meaningful and useful.
Having said all that, I will, nevertheless, keep some posts private because I know they will likely offend those that are dearest to me. This means that likely no one will ever read them unless they ask permission, which will not be readily granted.
For my public posts, there may still be occasional things I say that some people find offensive, but for my part I will try my very best to be truthful and avoid criticism and negativity.
In conclusion, I ask for your patience and tolerance. I apologize for offending you or anyone. I am in imperfect being, but I’m truly trying my best to be perfect like our Savior.
P.S. If you really want to read my protected posts, you’ll have to find out the address of the home we purchased in Hartville (hint: the address changed when we remodeled).