‘Human beings are strange creatures’

Dear Editor,

“Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts/ Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight.”  For some strange reason these words kept ringing in my ears as I sat and pondered what strange creatures human beings are. This all came about because of someone who was in disagreement with a point of view of mine.

Editor, it stands to reason that when a person puts pen to paper and goes public, then most certainly that person puts him/herself up for public auditing. Thus it behoves one to be very careful and mindful of the public response, and one would have to be rather naïve or egotistical to always expect full acceptance or agreement. Criticism, and at times even ridicule, go with the terrain, and one must be humble and strong enough to roll with the punches. There are times when persons are not in accord with what I write, and that is understandable – who am I anyway? Once it is looked at from an objective standpoint, I can ride with that.

What I keep uppermost in my mind and strive to maintain as much as possible is accuracy; so I never indulge in propagating a falsehood except for what is told to me, and apart from reflecting the general mood at times, I write what I honestly see, feel and experience. I think it is of great value that people –especially writers and artistes – express themselves from deep within without fear; this is part of their individuality, independent of all others. It is what we owe to ourselves without which we wouldn’t be anyone of any real substance, but rather feeble and gullible, like a puppet on a string.
Hence at times I become a bit riled up with those who would want you to write things the way they see them, or as they would want them to be – even wild rumours or outright lies or just plain ridiculous tales that you know to be totally outrageous and foolish. What strange creatures human beings are indeed. We want to shape others into our own image and likeness, when deep within we know these things to be unwholesome, deceitful and morally nasty as well as totally out of place. Yet some become critical of you because of your non-compliance, and this is what cuts me dead.

My position is that those who make an attempt to capture and present what’s happening in our society need to commit themselves to that sense of responsibility by which they are bound not only to self, but first and foremost to that mass of the reading public whose wisdom and judgment should be respected. This seems to me a healthy approach. Inveterate liars should confine themselves to writing fiction, period.

Yours faithfully,
Frank Fyffe

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