Sunday, December 25, 2011

You

Scott Bradley


A favorite post for me, among the many I have written over the past eight months of this verbal spewing, is the one in which I wrote, "This is about me; I have nothing else to offer. All my 'truths' are subjective." I wrote this because, at the time of writing, I realized that it was, in fact, about me. And I wished to make that clear. I am simply sharing my unfolding journey; this is a journal.

Something in me wants it to be otherwise, yet I believe it can be nothing else if it is to be honest. The alternative would be for me to tell you objective truths (which I do not know) or to present 'scholarly' facts divorced from my experience. So, yes, I unapologetically affirm that these posts are about me and thus suffer from all the vagaries, contingencies, and foibles of my personal journey.

And that is why these posts are also about you. This is the case in many senses.

They are about you because you are reading them; and whatever you may think of them, however you may react to them and the ego behind them, that is your experience. And that is the point: personal experience. I may be writing about me, but when you read them they become whatever you make them to be. And that is all that really matters. At this moment, this post is only about you.

I do not mean this to imply that this post has anything of value to say to you. All that matters is that you are now in some way engaged with it. Perhaps you have proclaimed me full of shit and are about to scroll away. Great. Only I would suggest that that decision is not about me; it is about you. Yes, I may indeed be full of shit (of course I am), and you would do well to move on, yet it is also the case that this post has provided you with another opportunity to see and understand yourself. This is the case with your every experience, of course. Only this post is an attempt to remind you of the same.

Another sense in which I would hope these posts are about you is that they remind you that you are in some way writing your own, whether written or published or not. We are all on a journey and the value of a journal is that it continually reminds us of just that. It is possible to live unreflectively, and though I would not pronounce that 'wrong', I would say that it is to miss what can add significantly to the quality of the human experience. I have previously written about and negatively commented on Thoreau's "The unexamined life is not worth living", but now wish to affirm its positive side, that, yes, an examined life is a richer one.

Some time ago I came up with my own (though necessarily derived) ethical starting point: You are to yourself as I am to myself. That simple fact never ceases to amaze me. To think that every human being feels him- or herself to be as important and valuable as I think I am. Amazing. There are now about 7 billion centers-of-the-universe on planet Earth. And you are one of them. I would like to learn to honor you as such.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas from your compulsive copy editor-fact checker:

    'Thoreau's "The unexamined life is not worth living" '

    Actually, that's Socrates....

    ReplyDelete

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