Tipping Points

Filed under: Community, Pondering, Writing

As I’ve been following the good, bad and ugly at my children’s former school district (lots of families feeling ambushed with an unwelcome and unorganized redistricting) I recently came across a few conversations where one group of people were having a violently strong reaction to ANOTHER negative thing happening in the district. But within these conversations there was debate, a bit of a clash on how this new problem should be emotionally and physically handled.

As someone who is no longer ankle deep in the WCSD do-do, I can absolutely understand the calmer heads who are trying to stay logical and grounded. But as someone who’s had this same school district pile negative things on top of me faster than I could push them off, I also feel a huge amount of sympathy for those who are hurt, frustrated and angry. *A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small In fact, I feel a little bit nuts in my ability to relate to the wide range of emotions people are feeling.

But to step outside of THIS particular situation, the whole thing has gotten me thinking about why some people are filled with an inferno of need to right wrongs. And why some people have the ability to roll over any ups and downs with little to no resistance. I think there are a zillion factors that play into this–especially individual personalities. But one thing that resonates with me is that each person has a TIPPING POINT. I think of this as the spot when everything changes. A tipping point might happen when someone has been asked to carry too much and the weight of a dust bunny might be enough to push them to fight.

But a tipping point can also be something that flips a person into a state of understanding, acceptance or perhaps defeat and exhaustion.  As I said, I’m a bit familiar with both kinds of tips *Entangled Roots

Ultimately, it’s complicated. And while tipping points in real life are so stressful, we don’t want to be caught up in the middle of them on a regular basis, as a writer, we want LOTS of tipping points. It’s important for us to digest what we’ve experienced, so we can call upon it later to write relatable words that make people feels real emotions. We want to study other people’s tipping points and add what we’ve learned from them to our writing.

True story–no one wants to see a character that doesn’t struggle and grow. No one falls in love with a book where nothing ever happens.

As you observe yourself growing and changing and you see the people tipping around you, remember it’s more important to call on the universal feelings than the particular details. For me, surviving the WCSD has been a study in tipping points. What tipping points have informed your writing?

PS–sending all my love to my WCSD peeps. I’ve always got you on my mind. <3


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