Scratching beyond the surface, digging deeper, is necessary from time to time. Doing some healthy introspection and sharing it makes us vulnerable. Then again, it can be a powerful experience if we are willing to accept the challenge.
My personal manifesto is a declaration of how I see myself, the world, and my place in the world. It can also be called a worldview or my narrative. Who am I? What am I about? What drives me? My manifesto is also an exposition of why I write.
I have found a voice in writing.
We each can live an ethical and honorable life and touch and impact others. It is momentary choices we make every day. It is not good enough to talk and write and philosophy about integrity and compassion and health and fitness—I have to live it. This I strive to do.
We don’t just live for ourselves with the goal to become financially independent and lead comfortable lives.
I am a creationist and believe there is life after the physical life we live right now. This can never be all there is. Helen Heller said it so well: “I believe in eternal life because I have within me eternal longings.” Yes, it’s called faith.
During my almost six decades of life, one thing has stood out (after having lived in several countries; having worked as a physician in the military, in private facilities and in state-run organizations and facilities): the lack of compassion. Collectively, we can change this.
I have also witnessed the power of kindness, of mercy, and forgiveness—as well as the devastation in its absence.
As a physician, I will continue to practice ethical medicine. Ethical physicians heal, they don’t hurt. (This applies to my patients, colleagues, students, co-workers, and the public.) My medical-related writing will follow this principle. The money will always be secondary. The hunger for power, position, and prestige, in the end, always hurt the pursuer as well as their subordinates. Accountability is crucial.
My goal as a writer is to touch the reader—my writing should have a profound impact on their lives. Whether it is fiction, nonfiction, memoir, essay, short story or poetry—my goal is to make the reader pause, compel them to think, and hopefully, initiate change. Yes, I want to entertain them, make them laugh; sometimes make them cry, but also inform and inspire and above all, challenge them to grow.
Never become complacent.
There’s always something new to learn.
If we never challenge the status quo (and ourselves), seek the truth, and come up with better models, nothing can ever change or improve.
What is truth? Are we willing to seek and then speak the truth?
Freedom, without borders and limits, often lead to chaos and ruin, and in the end, achieve the opposite: enslavement and loss of the sought freedom.
It is no longer freedom of speech when it instigates hate, threatens, insults, hurts, harms, and destroys. That is not freedom, that’s abuse and tyranny.
Too often individuals (and wider society) are silenced by leaders (elected, appointed or self-appointed), by governments and by organizations. Through fear and intimidation and disinformation and physical harm, individuals and society are controlled and ruled and bullied into apathy and silence.
I believe it is vital to remain a student for life. This does not imply that I do not master certain skills, but will continue my quest to grow and learn and master new competencies and to never become self-satisfied.
I strive to be assertive, not arrogant. There is a difference.
I strive to remain compassionate and caring and not become callous and indifferent.
I strive to remain respectful of others—irrespective of their age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social status or worldview.
It is my goal to make a living in an ethical way.
I believe, serious artists should not starve.
Abuse of any kind is wrong. Workplace abuse is still abuse.
It is my duty to be cognizant and to speak up.
It is my goal to help victims of abuse move toward healing, become survivors, and then grow toward victors, healed witnesses, who have found a new voice and become part of the solution and help heal a culture of abuse. The cycle of abuse will never end unless victims are guided toward becoming victors, and perpetrators and abusers are held accountable. To achieve this, effective collaboration and networking is essential.
There is much darkness, hate, contempt, indifference, pain, suffering, and despair in the world. I strive to not add to this, also in my writing. It is my goal that my writing, my voice, will help alleviate some of this. Individuals can be empowered, inspired and strengthened and be guided toward the light.
We all search for meaning.
We all search for hope.
We need hope. But a hope that is more certain.
I do not claim to have all the answers. I do not claim to be without fear or fault. I have failed many times. What I have learned is this: giving up is not an option. I do not claim it is easy—it is not.
I would like to be referred to, and one day be remembered as, “a man, an artist without ego, someone who touched people’s hearts.”
In short, this is what I believe and why I write. You and I can make a difference. We need each other. You and I can touch people’s lives. We can empower others. We can offer hope and some laughter and some healing.
The choice to a large extent is ours.
We all need a worldview, a personal manifesto. Give it some serious thought. What is yours?
Thank you for reading! You’re welcome to share and leave a comment.