I read a lot of books and I follow a number of blogs. I watch television and listen to talk radio. I find inspiration in the way they issue pronouncements with such certainty. Especially when I know they’re totally wrong and absolutely out of their minds. It doesn’t take much for me to jot down a draft post. When I want to, I can type about as fast as I can speak. However, that draft is usually just that: a draft. I have to go back and correct the spelling, correct the grammar and edit out much of the heat. The problem I have is empathy.
At first, I’m sure of everything. I know I’m right. There are no dissenting opinions, unless you count what morons think. However, there is that second thought. Perhaps I don’t know everything. It’s possible there’s a scenario, some possible fact, that doesn’t fit my orthodox world view. About that time, Wikipedia and the local library come into play and erode my certainty still further. Is it possible a point of view different than mine could be not stupid?
When we yell at one another, it may make for good radio or dramatic television, but yelling isn’t convincing. No one listens. No one learns. There are some advantages to speaking softly. Based on the comments I’ve received over the past year, many of my readers don’t share my religious beliefs or my politics or even follow my sports teams. Yet, it seems like they are willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and continue to read, even if they don’t agree with me all of the time.
Sometimes I wish I could stick to stereotypes though. I find in that first moment – suddenly – everything seems so much simpler. Most of the so-called “big problems” we have in the world today can be taken care of with a metaphorical wave of the hand. The rest can be used as punch lines. My blog would probably get much more activity if I came out and issued blanket assumptions based on nothing more than other assumptions. Everyone loves a flame war. I am a master of the put down; ask any of my friends from junior high. Curse my UU-ism with its principled moderation!
On second thought… scratch that.