Debate or Die

I have a weird and possibly unattainable desire. It has plagued me from childhood, I remember much a much younger and inexperienced version of myself grasping at this dream before I ever knew what it could cost. But even though I have learned more, I’ve seen more, I’ve heard more in this present evil age, I can’t give up on it. I won’t.

This desire is what drives me to write, to say things that people will either listen to or ignore. It is a scary and revealing thing to expose your inner thoughts to a public audience. Because the words that I write, they are not just disconnected phrases that happen to pour out on the screen. They are pieces of my life, my loves and losts, my failures and corrections, in many cases my unspokeness. And the articles that you read here at The Jagged Word have always been that. Slices of our struggles and our consolations, moments of our days where we may be brave enough to share something personal with you. I have no doubt my friends who also offer their words beside me have this very same crazy inclination.

We dream of a place where a conversation is free. And not just a freedom that means you can say anything you want to no end. We are searching for a thoughtful conversation that matters, that cuts our own soul deeply, that inspires someone else to respond as passionately as we are.

In the current climate of polarized parties and issues, of hate speech and political correctness, it has been made incredibly clear that an age of debate is to be feared. It is uncomfortable and may be self-destructive to say things that you are thinking. It is dangerous to your social presence if your words are marked for one side or the other. It is painful to be held accountable for views, thoughts, words.

And it absolutely should be.

When I first started writing for this blog, I was constantly afraid of these words. Would they accurately describe? Am I wrong? How much pain may I have to endure when the greater public reads what I have to say? Words can not only affect others but I will have to live with the consequences of what you understand. Words are powerful, especially when they are important. Words do things. Words kill and make alive. And yes, words hurt. But this is not the greatest evil. When words hurt, it means they have struck the heart. When words hurt, it means you may be struggling with thoughts that challenge your comfortable norms. When words hurt, they can create a beautiful and meaningful conversation.

This is what my friends here have done and will continue to do with our words. And this is what the Jagged Word has done and will continue to do with our words. This week we will explore responses to the volatile political climate. And we desire to encourage a productive debate which should exist in the present scared culture. Words. That may hurt. Words exchanged that my cut deep. Words given and received that may make us mad, make us change, make us sad, make us struggle with a greater truth. This is that silly dream I’ve always wanted. This might happen here. And that is why I love this Jagged Word.