The Origin of Wit Exhibit
Because the inception of this blog (or forum, as I hope it will become in time) is deeply tied to a number of recent events, I find it necessary to clarify my initial thoughts and feelings as we venture beyond the shore and into the depths.
As I've struggled to comprehend the various forms of human chaos in recent months marked by differences of experience, belief and status, I have also struggled to find my place and role in the greater conversation. When should I hold back and quietly listen? When is my opinion useful or necessary? How do we navigate the numerous details which differentiate each of us and how do we best find peace with ourselves and with one another?
I have watched banners and factions rise, often in pure opposition to others. I have listened as discussions trend towards antagonizing, obstinate refusal to listen and insults laden with fear and stark misunderstanding. All of this is human and as far as I can tell, natural. But it does not reflect what is also preferably human - our capacity for respectful discourse.
In the fog-like confusion of my own life after a recent graduation, I needed to fill this void and address the issue I see in how we interact (or fail to) with one another. It is a principle I have tried to underscore in Stride & Saunter, a podcast concerning our thought processes, but as that project approached its third year this fall, I found something lacking in that approach. People around me seem more responsive to and interested in written content. And while many of us respond to opinionated individuals by rolling our eyes and withdrawing from their emphatic statements, I think we should develop a more welcome environment. This is what led me to conceive of Wit Exhibit.
Where I see a breakdown of meaningful exchange in dialogue and a hesitation to share personal opinions for fear of judgment, I also see a need to talk more openly and honestly. There is also a need for humility and a willingness to learn - to move beyond the comfortable sense of certainty and admit that we live in a complicated, often uncertain world.
This site is meant to encourage more balanced and respectful discussions between all of us. I think we're all guilty of being so firm in our beliefs and perceptions that we preemptively close ourselves off to other possibilities and alternative opinions. This is not an attempt to find the moral "right" and annihilate a presumed "wrong" but a communal effort to hear the other sides of the story. If at the very least, you read and consider thoughts that differ from yours, I will consider the effort successful.
It is my hope that we will discuss a number of relevant and valuable social and societal issues, concerns and perspectives. To those willing to share sensitive or controversial opinions, anecdotes or viewpoints, please feel free to submit anonymously.
If you have any questions about the project or any suggestions to help improve it, please feel free to reach out.