Monday, August 9, 2010
Should Writing Be Rated PG?
Life is not PG. But my blog is.
Why not just tell it like it is? After all, I’m a realist by nature. I’m a lawyer, remember? Lawyers are known to be savvy and even a little vulgar – not PG.
I usually write the blog when I’m not wearing my lawyer hat. But that’s not why it’s rated PG. Here are the reasons:
Nick reads it. First and foremost, Nick (my 9-year-old son) reads the blog. In fact, he’s probably reading this post right now. What mother wouldn’t want to protect the innocence of her first-born son? He’s going to get hit with enough of smut out there. It doesn’t need to be coming from his own mother. I need to be setting an example.
My mother reads it. I know, I’m 40 years old, but I still care what my mother thinks. For those of you who don’t know her, she’s never uttered a swear word in her entire life! And, no, I’m not lying. When I (jokingly) told her all the swearing had been edited out of Chasing Superwoman, she looked relieved. But she also gave me a look that said, “Behave, Susan, you know better than to use those kind of words.”
You read it. Last by not least, you read the blog. No, I don’t expect that your life is rated PG. But I do know that you’re getting hit with enough nasty words on a regular basis. Sure, sometimes swearing is used to make a point – to provide exclamation points, particularly in the spoken word. Besides, when we’re intentional and not reactive about communication, we don’t need vulgarity to make a point.
Let’s just put it this way. I’ve never regretted saying something wholesome. But I have regretted the times when I’ve opened my mouth without thinking – putting a worldly and even filthy spin on something that should have been PG. And given that writing is usually more deliberate than the spoken word, I try to temper my impulses and keep it clean.
What do you think? Do you prefer reading writing that is rated PG, or do writers like myself need a healthy dose of reality?
Maybe it has more to do with the message behind the content. But I still can do without the smut.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29