Correcting errors, pointing out weaknesses, stating my opinions! I'm not sure if this is a tendency of years of editing, my role as a critic, if I can blame it on a Type A personality, or what, but I have a tendency to notice flaws and I can't help wanting to do something about them. Editors and school teachers use red pencils to make corrections. Sometimes I wish making all kinds of corrections could be that easy.
As I read social media posts, I groan at the abundance of incomprehensible sentences, misspelled words, and the incorrect usage or omission of words, even though I know a good share of the blame for the problem can be placed on spell checker or simply trying to type as fast as the writer thinks. With the sudden emergence of e-books and independent publishing on the world, the error rate has gone up in the books I read. I wonder if a certain amount of the blame might also go to our schools for not spending as much time on educational basics as they once did. Itty bitty keyboards can claim some of the blame too! Where's my red pencil!
I'm a news junkie and I've always been keenly interested in politics. Today's politics provide plenty of disgust and annoyance whether you lean right or left. Mistakes, errors, and downright incompetence and dishonesty abound. Most of the time I'm glad I'm no longer an editor or reporter, but sometimes I get an urge to write what I think, then I remind myself we, the people, voted for these people because a) we were too lazy to get informed, b)we've confused government with fairy godmothers, or c)we're gullible and actually believed their campaign rhetoric. I also blame today's news organizations since most belong to wealthy individuals who are more interested in their bottom line than real journalism. And what's with posting a cute story about a sweet little kitty on the front page and informing the world of the atrocities being committed by ISIS on an inside page? I need gallons of red ink!
This world is full of things I can find fault with; big uncovered bellies that hang over the tops of skirts or pants, people who think they know more than God, texting drivers, Federal ownership of most of the Western states, dresses that are too short on both ends, neighbors who don't water or mow their lawns, yapping dogs, boys' pants that sag below their underwear (if they bother to wear any), the price of gasoline, unvaccinated people, the lack of rights for Islamic women, people who believe rules are for other people, playing the race card, cancer, the cost of prescription drugs, atheist bigots, wasted tax dollars . . . It's going to take more than a dozen red pencils!
This world is full of problems, big and small. Perhaps my impatience with some of these problems can be attributed to the fact I'm getting older, but I think I've always been aware mistakes, errors, weaknesses, and dishonesty can be readily found. They're everywhere. Some bother me more than others. I remember asking my dad once why God allows bad things to happen and why some people seem to have worse problems than others. He said he didn't know all the reasons, but he believed some were so we'd have something to work on while we're here. This life is like school he explained; you can't get an A for just sitting in class or for not bothering to show up for class. Assignments are given and homework has to be done. He also said some people aren't tempted by things some other people are because they've already passed those items off before they got here and don't need to prove themselves again. It was his belief that we weren't all given the same talents and abilities because like at any good school, we aren't all taking the same classes. He assured me that in the end it all evens out. He left me a firm believer in doing my best to pass the tests that come my way, change what I can if it needs changing, and that it's a good thing that God's the one who wields the red pencil.