An Ode to Writing

An Ode to Writing

We need writing now more than ever

For thousands of years, people have shared their stories. Whether they drew symbols on a cave or recited an epic poem around a fire, storytelling has always been a foundation of our culture. It’s what makes us who we are as humans- our ability to write our own stories. That’s why the gift of writing is priceless. For it is with the stroke of a pen that emotion is evoked, ideas are shaped and our wildest dreams become realities.

Now, I’ve been writing constantly since I was in the fourth grade. Stories, screenplays essays, movie reviews, you name it. I have seen firsthand the impact that my written words have on other’s emotions. Once I wrote a simple Mother’s Day card to my mom that made both her and my grandmother cry. I’ve had my day ruined by a stupid text message, I’ve been overjoyed when receiving a handwritten postcard from a close friend at a distant college. Words evoked these emotions in me, and I’m sure writings, both virtual and physical have evoked some both pleasant and unpleasant emotions in you. Words have the power to not only influence us, but also inspire us.

Writing can make us aware of a world, a character, or a lesson we never knew we needed. We can garner hope from stories. One of my favorite stories is Cinderella, because it has such a strong message about believing and hope. We can see Cinderella overcome enslavement, neglect and trauma while remaining a kind, caring, and patient person, finally get the happy ending she deserves. This story inspires us to believe that no matter how bad things are, if you keep on believing, things will work out. The Cinderella story teaches us hope- it gives us something better to yearn for, it makes us ask ourselves “What can I hope for… dream for?” This story demonstrates the power of words. From a simple fairy tale, we are given the idea of hope and faith and kindness and love- our lives are enriched, by words and storytelling.

That’s why it’s important to write with a powerful message in mind, because words have the greatest impact on us, more than guns and violence. Nuclear bombs and brute force will only change the world so much. But it’s the ideas, the words, the messages in our stories that will ultimately change the world as we know it. As the old saying goes: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

So, I try my best to write as often as I can because writing can not only impact other’s emotions and ideas, but also provide a form of escape. Writing and creating a story can transport me into a world that whatever I want it to be. A world where I can forget all of life’s little annoyances and create a story that I can get completely lost in. A story that I can control, a story that can entertain and amuse me for hours on end. That’s why I, and a lot of other people write, for escape. For a chance to temporarily live in a world that both diminishes our world’s injustices while also bringing out the best of what life has to offer.

The world needs writing, and words, and stories, now more than ever. With all the ugliness that’s being shoved down our throats, it is vital that we each share our own unique perspective. That we share words powerful enough to make someone feel humbled or loved. We need to write stories with messages of hope and perseverance. We need to escape from our imperfect world every now and then and be reminded of all the good that’s out there. Share your stories, because every single one of you has one, and your story is capable of changing the world.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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'Mom, I Am A Rich Man'

Cher owned it, and you can, too.

Most likely if you’re on any social media platform, you’ve seen the iconic video of Cher in an interview with Jane Pauley telling the story of her mother telling Cher that one day she should settle down and marry a rich man, to which Cher replies, “Mom, I am a rich man.”

*Disclaimer: Don’t worry boys, this article will still pertain to you, too.

In the days of “Mad Men” and Andy Griffith, the family unit was very much structured and known: a mother, who made the home and raised several kids, and a father, who earned the money for the household. There was never any confusion as to how one was to live one’s life, because every individual knew that this was the structure to follow. Be born. Make friends. Play. Grow up. Go to school. Meet someone. Possibly attend college. Marry. Have multiple children. Follow gender-assigned role. Repeat for next generation.

Then one day, the world began to change.

Women began attending college for more than an MRS degree. Divorce rates began to increase. Individuals began staying single for longer. Couples began having fewer kids and also having kids later in life. Homosexuals and other members of the LGBTQ community started coming out and sharing their voices. Schools were finally being desegregated. Technology was beginning its exponential growth, and the world woke up.

Cher’s mother was raised to believe these were the next steps Cher should take in life, just as probably similarly your parents have made comments to you that you do not believe line up with your generation’s viewpoint in today’s society. You’ve probably come to already realize that this is a generational gap between you and your parents; however, this is not the topic I want to focus on today. I want to talk about the concept of the individual unit.

Earlier on, I spoke about the '60s family unit. Back then, that was the unit. Even while there were several different roles within a family unit, every family made decisions and moved together. Today, we move into the individual unit. We have gone from making decisions on how we think they would impact the family onto how they will impact the individual. Often, people think negatively on this way of decision making, because isn’t it selfish to makes decision based off oneself?

The answer is… no.

Now before I get some serious hate for that statement, let me back it up. For all my business majors out there (yes, I am one myself), you’ve likely taken or will likely have to take an economics course. One of the basic goals of economics is maximizing profit, which is sometimes depicted as not focusing on how large your slice of the pie is but determining how to make the pie as large as possible. Let’s take this back to the family and individual units.

When decisions were made based on how they would affect the family unit, sometimes the decisions of one individual would hold back the others within the family from “maximizing their profit” or maximizing their potential. Perhaps this was staying home to raise the kids rather than following a career path that interested the parent. This may have been staying in an unhappy marriage to follow society’s standards rather than leaving the marriage and benefiting one’s family more by being happy alone. Although at first glance, these sacrifices may have seemed heroic and for the best for the family unit, looking back the alternatives may have actually put the individuals of the family in a happier place which would have reflected in the long run positively on the rest of the family.

Maximizing your potential is maximizing your happiness, and vice versa. We often think that to be successful and have an abundance of money must make us an evil person to be so selfish. We think that the phrase “money doesn’t buy happiness” means that money equals success and therefore if we’re successful we’re not actually happy even if we think we are. That idea is often what holds so many back from their greatest potential.

To be successful doesn’t mean that one can’t look back and help the people from their past and their family up the ladder once they’ve reached the top. To be successful doesn’t mean that one can never marry or multiply their happiness in others surrounding them, friends, family, spouse, children and all. To be successful means that one takes a step back, looks around, and asks, “Am I the happiest I can be at this present moment? And if not, what can I do to take myself there?”

It’s with those answers that we maximize our potential and growth. It is in our growth that we find gratitude for our efforts. It is in our gratitude that we find happiness in all that we have become.


Cover Image Credit: David Carroll

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Poetry On Odyssey: Conflicted

Resolving conflict and letting love back in.


As life moves quickly,

It is to no surprise

That we are constantly faced with change.

With change

Comes peace.

With change

Comes suffering.

With change

Comes conflict.

I stroll through the days of old,

Recognizing how conflicted I was

When I chose to let the love go.

Each night I tossed,

Each night I turned,

Feeling unsure of my decisions,

Unsteady every time I dragged my legs from the bed

And forced myself to keep moving.


I walk happily through the days of new,

Giving thanks for my peace of mind

And my allowance to let a new love in.

I no longer toss,

I no longer turn.

I feel a sense of security

And a sense of pride in my decisions.

I walk steadily,

As I no longer have to force myself to keep moving.

I am no longer conflicted.

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