patience (is a virtue)
November 29, 2016
we are born with two ears and one mouth – having difficulties speaking has led me to listen more (but that deserves another entry of its own). Common practice dictates that you should hold off for 24 hours on sending an emotionally (or alcoholic) induced e-mail, text or tweet (much like counting down from 10 or taking long, deep breaths can aid in dissipating excess emotion). If you still think it’s appropriate later on then go for it – I guess making it difficult to type has its perks and writing a post over a few days helps me to reflect and reevaluate more. Despite my Vulcan-like demeanor, I exhibit more human behavior now. If I still really feel strongly about something, I can blog about it. That said, my words need to be tempered by the saying: “it’s easier to condemn than to convince.” Sure, sometimes it’s hubris but at times it’s simply therapy, expression or observation. This is not a “manifesto” to abstain from commentary, it’s just one should be able to distinguish what one’s true purpose is. Having a combination of these factors is not necessarily a bad thing: it’s being conscious of what’s subjective versus objectivity that’s important. Intentions (and motivations) need to be transparent.
A “wise” editor once told me that everything is political and that being apolitical is a political choice. I’ve since embraced this tenet – after all, our thinking is not only a function of our genes but also of our experiences. Sometimes it can look like I’m fence-sitting when I just don’t have enough facts or am considering the nuances – the devil is in the details after all. The question I ask is how, if at all, does this affect me or my family? Sure, I’ve got opinions about many things but does it really matter in the grand scheme of thing or is the motivation so that I feel better.
I used to think that it was “simply” a matter of quality over quantity. But to paraphrase the Pulitzer-prize author, Jennifer Egan, one needs to write regularly, even badly at times, to be able to ultimately write well. In this vein, I pour my writing into one document – not everything makes it to be published under my blog; not everything is meant to be shared with the rest of the world (some are best left as “inner” dialogue – look at the trouble Homer’s gotten into throughout the years). That said, perfect can be the enemy of good so it can also be helpful to get something out there and not “oversanitise” or self-censor everything. From experience, some comments can be constructively critical and useful for refining your thoughts and others you need to consider with a grain of salt (public spaces can be a great boon but also a huge bane at the same time – wisdom of the crowd vs. trolls and haters).