It’s been a rough week. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for a number of reasons. But, for me, top among them has been the fact that since Labor Day, I’ve been doing no less than three things simultaneously at all times. Deadlines are looming. And some of them are for projects I haven’t even started thinking about.
It’s put me on edge.
Throw into the mix my obsessive-compulsive desire to Know Everything in regards to the current election (and that knowing everything is often the very definition of infuriating) it’s no surprise that I’m quick on the draw and jumping on people when I probably don’t need to be.
Snarky comments about Buddhists, of course, get me thinking. And I’m reminded of the ever helpful Dharma Folk and one of their posts (can’t recall who or what now) about being mindful of Right Speech. And I can’t help but think, hmm, maybe I should take a deep breath here. A step back. And look at myself and my own conduct for a bit. Take some lessons from the ever-present “Someone’s wrong on the Internet” problem.
I’d like to say, for the record, that I love comments. And I don’t want to discourage them. I was thinking on the ride home that one of the reasons I’ve got a fairly open comment policy (meaning I don’t moderate them as other bloggers do, except for spam, of course) is because I like being challenged. I really do take seriously other people’s views. Granted, there’s some things I’m just not interested in talking about or debating because senseless “debates” where two people are diametrically and fundamentally on opposite sides of a black-and-white issue and neither are going to be persuaded to the other’s side seem to me pointless and boring. But open-ended conversations about the more nuanced and subtle aspects of our world are endlessly interesting and entertaining. I was a philosophy major after all (and never on the debate team).
And, much more importantly, these conversations allow me to see other points of view, other ideas. Even when they make me uncomfortable. And help me sharpen my own language, my own ideas. Even when I don’t acknowledge those lessons at the time.
I need to be put in my place now and then. Sometimes I forget that I’m not always right.
I worry, of course. I worry because I know you’re out there, Potential Hiring Committee. I know you’re out there, Potential Employer, waiting to Google me and find out all the terrible things I’ve said and done on the Internet.
But I also know that I’ve said repeatedly that scholars are people, that we have subjectivities, that objectivity is a myth, and that all academics have their own particular points of view that set their agendas. Well. Here’s mine. As plain as day.
At any rate, if nothing else, this blog of mine helps keep me honest. It helps me see my many flaws, my own imperfections, and (god willing) helps me transcend them. Or at least acknowledge that they’re there, still hanging around, and in need of some pruning. Or work. Or something.
In the mean time, while I’m busy doing fourteen things at once, I think need to impose on myself a little media black out. I think I get some delusions of grandeur around here that people are actually reading this blog, that I may have some effect on the world in some larger way than is possibly true. I do not need to be the Voice of Reason this election season. There’s plenty of other folks better suited to that role. While I’m so stressed out, the last thing I need to do is add in this extra layer of anger and grief.
Let me know if the world comes to an end. Or Cheney shoots Palin in the face or something.