My Private Journal
There’s an old line from ‘The Godfather’ that advises, “Never tell anybody what you’re thinking. “ I‘m sure that adage comes in handy if you’re in the mob –or if you’re sitting across the board from a Grand Chess Master. But The Godfather’s good advice should not be taken so ‘literally.’ We should never keep our thoughts bottled up forever….for there is a time and place for all things. And the spoken word has power.
Generally, telling people how you feel is a good thing. Letting them experience your thoughts can be just what is needed at that very moment. But, if your well-intentioned words are not yet fully formed, or you’re not sure that it’s the right time to reveal them, it is best to write them down, look at them, see how it can be better expressed. And that, to me, is the purpose of a Journal.
A daybook, a chronicle, or log should not be so private that its contents only serve to reassure the writer. It should be a treasure of ideas, observations, and rambling tales that reveal the author to every reader that opens the volume. Anne Frank’s Diary was not scribbled as mere a past time for a frightened young girl. It was her way of telling the world who she was, what she felt, what she was thinking – and eventually her words shined a light on one of history’s darkest moments.
Likewise, that is the intent of my journal; it not for hiding feelings or keeping secrets. It’s a place to record my random thoughts; those little things that happen in the course of the day that help me put two and two together. And on occasion even reveal to me flashes of profound insight.
These days everybody wants to tell you – or better yet -Tweat you everything that’s on their mind. But in this world of touch-screen communications, where spoken words have enormous power, I’ve chosen to amend Don Corleone’s advice with a proviso that even he couldn’t turn down:
“Never tell anybody what you’re thinking….
…Unless it will change their life for the better. And bring healing faster.
… Unless it is bad news that must be dealt with immediately, to keep things from becoming worse or extend sorrow unnecessarily
… Unless it is a heart-felt compulsion that you may never have the opportunity to express again.
All other positive affirmations can wait; for Good News – Like a Christmas package, should never be revealed immediately. It should be savored, anticipated. Such thoughts should be kept in a journal, so the gift can be unwrapped again and again, allowing its potent message to last, to shine on -even through the darkest history of our lives.
Below are excerpts from my journal offering selected samples of my random ideas, my grand notions … and a few heartfelt words I always want to say…