Is It For You or Someone Else?

Within my Writing for the Web class, we had to pick a quote from a list and develop an idea around it. I found mine worth mentioning, so I thought I would share:

Margaret Atwood questions these three things: Who are your writing for? Why do you do it? Where does it come from?

This thought comes to mind not only in my writing but in my everyday walk of life. Often times, our judgement and decision making gets clouded by what other people want. There is always this feeling that we have to prove something to someone.

Think of the first time you were able to do anything. It could have been getting off of training wheels and being able to ride your bike without falling, making the Dean’s List or getting chosen as the lead in your school play.

What was your first reaction?

Well, I know what mine would have been. I would have gone and told my mom, dad, friend or anyone who I thought would give me praise. I am not saying that this is a bad thing or that gratification from others should not be wanted, but why don’t we seek gratification in ourselves?

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound.” I know that this phrase is a philosophical thought, but I pose the question:

If you did something and no one cared about it, would you keep doing it?

I know that this is something I struggle with internally because we all want to feel important and feel that what we do matters to other people. We feel as though there always has to be someone watching, and if there isn’t, maybe we should do something else that will get more praise.

Take a look at this scenario. A child has parents who want to keep the tradition of having only lawyers within the family, but that is not their dream. They wonder if they should go with what they do not have a passion for and get praise or stray away from the norm, which could lead to apathetic parents.

I have never dealt with that particular situation, but there have been times in my life where what I wanted to do wasn’t the popular thing or the thing that would get much recognition. However, we have to come to terms with ourselves and understand: where does this want, to do this particular thing, come from, why are we doing it and most importantly, who we are doing it for?


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