"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End
Thursday 7 February 2013
Blogs and Politics
Something happened yesterday that I thought was a very good subject for a blog, especially as it gave me an opportunity to swim against the tide of expectation.
I do love to confuse people, given half a chance.
So, I wrote my blog. I read it back, added links and read it again.
It was controversial. I knew that it would be widely read and commented on, and I knew that an awful lot of people probably wouldn’t like it. I didn’t care... OK, I cared enough to think that it was a good idea to show it to the husband before I posted it.
The husband is useful in these circumstances. I tend to speak first and think later. He’s a thinker. He considers what he says and, most of the time (although as he’s got older he has become much freer with his opinions) he’s very much more circumspect than I am.
I e-mailed my blog to the husband. Five minutes later he came to find me to tell me that he thought, on the whole, I should leave this one alone. I probably shouldn’t comment. It wasn’t that I’d said anything wrong. It wasn’t that he didn’t agree with me. It wasn’t that what I’d said wasn’t interesting or well-put. It was... It was contentious. It was political, and, whatever I did and whatever I said, I couldn’t change anything and I couldn’t do myself any good in the process.
He’s right, of course.
Is it cowardly, though, I wonder?
Is it a good idea always to say what I think?
Isn’t it true that we’re much more likely to get to the ends of our lives and regret the things we didn’t do and not the things we did do? And if that's true, isn't it also true of the things we do or don't say?
I’m old enough to know that I have very little power, but what little power I have is tied up with words.
I can speak up. I can offer an opinion. I can say what I think, and I can say it loudly and proudly and with conviction.
As it happens, the subject I was going to talk on today was academic. I was responding to something that had happened, because I thought that it was interesting and not because I really cared about it. I picked a side based on what others had said rather than on what I felt. Honestly, I didn’t feel very much at all in my heart; it was all much more of an intellectual exercise.
It’s not that I don’t care about what goes on in my head, because of course I do, but I’m going to save my voice for what I feel passionate about, and hope I have the words to make myself understood when it really counts.
I hope you’ll be there to hear me, and even to argue with me, when the time comes.