Reflecting on posts often reveals the next topic for me. So perhaps this one is a tad indulgent. I do get a lot of feedback, sometimes weeks after a post. Sometimes in writing, other times in person. I also monitor the hits and can tell when things work their way out of my normal readership, and into some other topic finding culture in google. My piece on ADD gets 20-30 hits a day, for example. Not sure who, and upon reading it I have to cringe a bit, I often cringe after reading older posts. I suppose there is residual benefit to putting work on the web. There are also risks.
I have but a few rules for this stuff. First, things are based on my account of things, recollections of my experiences and my take on the outcome ongoing. I feel that I represent a demographic, a slice and/or a cross section of 50 year old American male. Like any other American male struggling to become what he thinks he's supposed to become (because of inherited values and environmental causes), I get a little frustrated from time to time. We all do as men, no matter how much we think we can handle.
Second, in my world (and likely due to how I was parented) there is a happy ending to everything, a message and a moral to be understood, wisdom to be gained. Likely because I have seen this in my own family, everything turnes out good, no matter how crazy things can get. It is a reward for the hard work, in my opinion. If you stay with me, things will usually always appear half full, optimistic and headed towards some understanding of inner peace and tranquility. Each day gets better, even though there are (sometimes severe) peaks and valleys along the way. I explore both at The Ralph Account. I must!
Third, it's a blog about frustration and the tweaking one must do in order gain wisdom, seek understanding, engage ones understanding of spirituatlity, all while manuvering throught the world. Oh, and lots about perseverance, redemption, conflict, vulnerability and.....ego. Its all boxed up and branded real nice with images, stories and other pontifications on my account of things, The Ralph Account. I am very lucky to have had the life that I have earned. What I have been given is what everyone else has been given minus a few folks. God* bless those who are less fortunate.
What I was given and what was earned along the way has been a diverse practicum of experiences from my own slice of American culture. Growing up in Boone County MO in the 60's and the 70's-- not so much of a big deal. But my family was and always will be. While things were not all that conventional at times and perhaps our quirks were uniquely ours, the experience molded me into who I am today. Everyone can likely say the same thing. We all have families, our connection to our past; the things we fall back upon, to call upon and trust, to rely upon while navigating the world moving forward. Good or bad, ideal or, not so ideal, I wouldn't trade my family, our collective experiences, love, forgiveness and commonwealth for anything in the world. That wouldn't be very authentic.
I enjoyed studying literature at Lindenwood University and got the bug to write years ago. I am still a student of it because it, like anything else, is a journey, just like life itself. If you want to be humbled as a writer, simply read some of your contemporaries work. If you want to get in trouble, write about your past. But don't let it keep you from expressing yourself. You must take risks, and occasionally explain yourself. Be careful not to cross bounderies. Some housekeeping below for those still mad at me.
Common themes at the Ralph Account.
Man Struggles Against Societal Pressure: Mankind is always struggling to determine if societal pressure is best for living.
Man Struggles to Understand Divinity: Mankind tries to understand and make peace with God, but satisfaction is elusive and difficult. *Did you notice my use of the word God? Anybody?
Overcoming Adversity: Many books laud characters who accept a tough situation and turn it into triumph.
Friendship is Dependant on Sacrifice: This is the idea that you can't have friends if you don't act like a friend.
The Importance of Family: Sacrifices for family are honored and explored, as are the family bonds that survive adversity.
Sacrifices Bring Reward: Sacrifices and hard work pay off in the end, despite the challenges along the way.
If I am to write without much filter (and it is impossible not to filter), I understand that I must be prepared for the fallout. I encourage the feedback and often the argument that sometimes follows. That is what I expect and need it for my own personal journey. I am certain that I have touched people in a positive sense, made people think about a thing or two while working though things on my behalf. I have also made a couple folks angry or given them reason to question my character, motivations and reasoning. No agenda here, just a glimpse of what I am thinking at any particular time that I sit down to this computer; a broadcast of my thoughts in relationship to what inspires me the most--my past. Ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.