For the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.
COUNTERPOINT SPARK: Yesterday I wrote about quick writing to current events or the day’s headlines. For some students it might be a great idea to ask them to respond with a viewpoint that differs from their own. “Imagine you are someone with a totally different viewpoint from your own. What are you thinking, wondering, feeling?” It’s not proving difficult for people to share their own thinking, but I believe our world would benefit from those who can acknowledge that there is a diversity of thought that exists and people holding differing views are not our enemies. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with them, only that we seek to understand them if we want a more civil society or community. I try to do this mentally from time to time, so I challenge myself to do that thinking on paper.
Here’s my quick write:
Though I am friends and family with many, it was hard to put myself in the shoes of a Trump supporter and I realized I only had the ‘talking points’ that I’ve heard over and over to respond with. Maybe that is a sign I need to listen for what those words mean down deep to those who say them. What are their hopes and fears that lead them to these thoughts or statements? I’ll bet we share many of those same hopes and fears, that is the common ground I need to seek and not conceding my beliefs or principles. I have to admit it is a bit agonizing to write them as though these were my own true thoughts. Counterpoint quick writes might not be for everybody but we can’t build this skill without practice.