One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Some things need canceling. Unjust laws* need canceling, racists too…
Mediocre — to be of moderate quality, value, ability, or performance — has this suggested origin:
from the Latin medius “middle” + ocris “rugged mountain.”
So in being mediocre, one is “somewhat mountainous.”
To be “somewhat mountainous” sounds pretty good, but in the context of Mount Everest and K2 (the world’s largest mountains), “somewhat mountainous” — e.g., Mount Wycheproof, a mountain but one of the smallest — doesn’t sound quite so impressive. This is mediocrity in our world … a crowd of somewhat mountains, a range of small Wycheproofs.
Day after day, mediocrity underwhelms the landscape. Our world is a…
I now recognize myself as a biased thing, a revolting ogre who sees issues as lensed and colored, who gorges his narrow, small-minded maw on narrow, small-minded beliefs. In this recognition (and revelation), I’ve found freedom. Because recognition is the first step to questioning your bias, to embracing the risk that you’ll prove yourself wrong. This recognition has moved me from Republican to Independent. And it’s exposed me to a world beyond my whiteness … to the arguments of Ta-Nehisi Coates and the insights of Beverly Daniel Tatum.
If you work in social media, there’s a demon that possesses you. It’s the demon of failed engagement, which is an outgrowth of one’s ego (Do they find me engaging?) and one’s fear (If they don’t, then have I lost my mojo?). Personal pronouns apply, even if you represent a brand, because you, me, I–as the brand–are the voices speaking, creating, and engaging. In a sense, you become the brand, extending your voice through the brand and connecting personally as the brand.
As the brand, failure can hurt … personally! Having done this for nearly ten years, I’ve failed miserably…
This Is Water, the famous speech by the late David Foster Wallace, opens with this joke:
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
This joke tells the story of our freedom. …
This will, God help me, suffer a blasphemy upon one of my favorite books.
In The Black Swan, author Nassim Taleb speaks to the “antilibrary,” a knowledge void that succumbs to the library we already own and worship:
Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. [A] library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means … allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you…
I’m 48 years old.
And I never grew up.
Yes, I’m elongated from my former child-self, but that just means I’m taller … not grown up. In a sense, I’m a vertical juvenile, reaching the proper height but not the proper “heights.”
For the latter … “heights” … I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I often wonder if other 48-year-olds suffer this same terrible fate. I envy those who’ve unhinged from Peter Pan, the ones who grew up, who found direction, who flew back from Neverland to pursue their passions and purpose.
“Indoctrination” is a pointed word saddled with a soft clarity. Its definition fills several gray spaces, each one overlapping but each its own. Consider these similar yet dissimilar definitions of “indoctrination”:
Overlapping (for the most part) yet slightly askew…
I don’t quite understand the response “All Lives Matter” as a counter to “Black Lives Matter.” It has the vague quality of one-up-manship; worse, it acts as a retort — an argumentative chess move — without any attempt at understanding or empathy. This retort diminishes the plea of desperation by artificially expanding the desperation to everyone. It echoes the old petition “We are separate!” and the Plessy retort “Yet we are all equal!”
You Have A Choice: Snap Back or Love Back
I really didn’t want to write into this …. there are people I respect dearly who will disagree…
Good writers write by the rules. I’ve known many good writers, rule followers who package their thoughts in squared paragraphs and clean verticals, adherents who envision the writing field as chalked with boundaries and stalked by umpires. There’s technically nothing wrong with this … except rules constrain and force ownership upon a writer.
Consider it arrogance if you like, but I once considered myself a “good” writer. I suppose it was arrogance because I enjoyed the rules and I enjoyed applying them rigidly. My writing itself or a “friendly” edit proffered … it all suffered from “the application” … i.e…
Social media expert, higher education advocate, writer, Founding Fathers fan, lawyer in a past life