Write often; it doesn’t matter what it’s about.
Justice is always couched in the language of measuring something against a perfect standard. If the thing falls short of what is right and good, we call it unjust; if it upholds what is right and good, we call it just.
But unless a theistic framework is used (and, I believe, specifically a Judeo-Christian one), no individual can level accusations of what is right or wrong, what is good or bad, and of what we ought or ought not do.
The two options then become:
When Marcus Aurelius wrote that injustice is impiety, I believe he was being perfectly rational and I think he was right. Injustice is an affront to a perfect being. But be certain of this: that thought came from the seedbed of theism. It could not have come from anywhere else and it cannot find its ultimate expression apart from an eternality imbued with perfect justice.
There was a time when the comics were actually funny.
You can borrow my Gary Larson “Far Side” collection to find out what that’s like. Or “Garfield” or “Calvin and Hobbes” or “B.C.” or “Wizard of Id”.
“. . . For a child[,] meaning is procured by his recognition of the awe-inspiring reality that surrounds his life. That reality is fused with wonder and design, engendering purpose.”
—Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God
Dictionaries are imperative. There’s a difference between bodacious, salacious, and pugnacious.
Beowulf, the epic poem. Distant lands, grand warriors, mythical beasts, battles aplenty.
And I wrote a rap about it for a class project in seventh grade. And we acted it out on video. And I still have a copy.
“I’ve never let my school interfere with my education.”
“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
—From America’s Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776
There are right and wrong ways to punctuate your writing.
Once you master those rules, move to the next level. Phrase and punctuate so readers grasp your intended meaning. This is the beginning of developing your personal writing style.
One of the books that most impacted me was Wild At Heart by John Eldredge, and eventually the companion book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge.
The first is written to men, but is quite eye-opening for women as well. Its premise is that men seek three primary things: an adventure to live, a battle to fight and win, and a beauty to rescue. This is seen in movies, business ventures, sporting events, and the art forms we are surrounded by, as well as by the lives of men everywhere.
These are the things that motivate him so if one of these aspects is taken away from him, he will begin to fade. He may cover it up or ignore it as much as possible, but like a shell on the beach he will feel drained of all life. So use the thrill of the journey, the satisfation of success, or the mystique and transcendent nature of beauty to both your benefit, but never as manipulation. Hard work is a great opportunity, but a man whose heart is alive is better than a man who just works. This book resonated so deeply that I made reading it one of the things your mom had to do before we got married.
Captivating was released a few years later and balances the equation from the woman’s side, with the understanding that a woman always feels that she is “too much” and “never enough” simultaneously. A woman wants to be the beauty and be swept up into an adventure with her great love.
Do yourself the favor of not speeding through them just to check them off the list, though. It’s worth it.