Soooo, our intentions in writing Eternally Bound were about illustrating a romance that spans lifetimes. We hoped to create a romance that would make our readers feel as though love transcends all things, feelings, obstacles. We had ZERO intentions of committing a “sin”.
A sin. Some think that it is sinful to read stories that ignite a fire within you. A fire that should only be ignited – and satisfied – by your husband…or so it is said. But did we commit a sin? Did we intentionally write something that would offend someone or cause someone to stray from their religious beliefs? Absolutely not.
This got us to thinking about our current society. Some call it a world of “fluffy bunnies”. Others blame it on the “millenials” and their feelings of being victimized by their elders (the Baby Boomers that raised them). We can throw names around to make us feel better about our choices, but isn’t it just about our insecurities?
Listen, we don’t want hate mail or threats. We want open-mindedness and a desire for peace. If your goals fall outside of those things, stop reading right now.
Seriously, stop reading.
You’ve been warned. Twice.
If you’ve decided to keep reading, you’ve agreed to NOT move forward with anger or spite, but with understanding. You’ve decided that it is worth keeping an open mind to try to understand someone else’s thoughts on the matter without having to sacrifice your own. Or you really want to add fuel to your fire, in which case – as a heads up – we’re going to ignore you anyway. We don’t respond to hate with hate.
The goal of this blog is to understand intentions. People’s intentions can make or break the way we respond or behave towards them. It’s something we give little thought to… until we’ve been offended by someone’s good intentions or have been fooled by someone’s bad intentions.
The intentions behind a person’s behavior or words can be the deciding factor on whether or not we choose to let them into our social circles or continue a relationship with them. In today’s society, we have become quite sensitive (like it or not, you know it’s true), and we frequently read into things that may or may not even be there. How many times have we decided someone’s meaning before even knowing if that was actually what they meant? And of course, by this point, it is too late for the person to redeem themselves. We have become incensed and need an explanation or apology to rectify the matter. Will that apology make it better? Will it feel sincere, or will it feel like a slap in the face? How ever well-deserving that apology may be, it may not fix the damage that has been done.
That being said, we also live in a world where if anything bothers you, it is your “right” to voice your opinion and attack the person who offended you. We feel a little differently. This meme is a perfect illustration of how we see things:
Isn’t that what it is all about? How can we possibly know what someone else’s beliefs are? How can we know the culture in which they grew up? Aren’t we just trying to say something nice? Isn’t this just the equivalent of “Have a nice day”, “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon”, or “Good Evening”?
If you think about it, isn’t saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” the same as these other sayings? If someone is unaware of your religious beliefs, but they try to say something nice to you, isn’t the polite thing to do is to say “Thank you”, or reply with your version of the same thing?
“Well a Joyous Kwanzaa to you!”
What could that possibly hurt?
The same can be said for other things that ignite fire within our souls (or bodies, depending on what you believe). Someone can say that they don’t believe in abortion (Yeah, we went there), but how would they feel if they had been raped and got pregnant as a result? Or how would they feel if they had an ailment that would cause both the mother and child to die before the child could even fully form their body within the womb? Should both die as a result of someone else’s feelings, or should the mother have the right to terminate the pregnancy and have the ability to adopt (save) a child? We don’t know, but we also feel as though we can’t make that decision for someone else.
We are under the full belief that people shouldn’t get mad about what others say, but should try to understand where the other person is coming from. We may not agree with their beliefs, but we can accept them as opinion and move on with our lives. Our thoughts and beliefs may not be someone else’s cup-of-tea, but isn’t that the beauty of it all? We are all different and live separate lives. If our daily lives do not hurt the lives of others, do those people have a say in what we believe?
Let’s go a bit further. We are NOT saying that we should sit idly by while parents starve or beat their children to near death. That is clearly outside the scope of what we are discussing. We are talking about the day-to-day interactions with adults that lead to fiery disputes and violence. You can believe in whatever god, deity, or being you want to believe in, and NOT be angry with the fact that someone else does not believe in the same one.
You can feel that spanking (not beating) your child is a form of discipline, while others feel a more positive environment where the word “no” is not present is the better way to go. If their intention is to do what’s best for their child, really do what’s best, then who are we to say they are wrong?
If your friend, neighbor, acquaintance, or stranger loves someone of the same sex, what does that matter to you? They are not asking you to join in, they are asking to be accepted. How does it directly affect your life?
Now, let’s go a different way. If a person in your life – be it a spouse, friend, or co-worker – means well, but fails to deliver on their duties, do we boil it down to the excuse that “they had good intentions” or “they didn’t mean it that way” and let it go? Should we sacrifice our feelings for those of others? How do we know when the meaning behind the action is sincere? How does one gauge the genuineness of another’s behavior?
Of course, there is no straight-forward answer to this question.
In the end, this is a lesson in human relationships. If we unintentionally hurt someone with our words or actions, and we are made aware of that, we should, as kind human beings, reflect and empathize on the situation and apologize if necessary. Some are of the mindset that there is no need to apologize because what was said or done is not offensive in their eyes, and they shouldn’t have to apologize or explain their actions.
Are they wrong? It all boils down to your school of thought.
What we need to realize is that our actions and words impact people in a profound way – and when you take into account social media- the impact becomes a very wide-reaching one. Although we don’t want to offend the masses, we also want to make sure our intentions and our opinions are heard loud and clear. It’s a hard line to navigate. We are constantly at war with the need to have the freedom to voice ourselves, all while being mindful of the impact our words and actions may have toward others. In essence, we are always toeing the line. And that line gets marginally smaller each generation.
Do you want to know what our solution is? Listen. That’s it. Just listen.
We don’t have to agree. We don’t have to live the same lives as those around us. What we should do is embrace our individuality and move forward. You will not agree with what everyone around you says and does, but who are we to decide what’s right and what’s wrong? Isn’t it better to discuss, compromise, learn? Isn’t it better for us to acknowledge what makes us happy and just go with it? We have zero control over someone else, so if you want to be a Christian, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Lutheran, Atheist, or whatever; just worship. If you want to love women or men; just love. If you want to have a child, not have a child, adopt; just live. If you want to eat meat, consume dairy, be a vegan, just eat fish; stay nourished. If you want to breastfeed, bottle feed, or a combination; let your child thrive. If what you are doing doesn’t hurt those around you and makes you happy; just do it. Just because someone has given you a differing opinion from their own, that it does not mean they are against you.
What does any of this have to do with being a writer? I. Don’t. Know. But what I do know is that human communication is a complicated construct, albeit a thought-provoking one. And it’s in these thought-provoking moments that creativity can burst forth like TNT blasting all those dang writer’s blocks into millions of tiny pieces, changing our day for the better. Because, in the end, we want to write about these problems, the thought processes behind everything, and the love and understanding that can grow from just listening to comprehend and not listening to argue.