I think I’m gonna quit blogging, at least on the overheated political/social topics of the day. I was scrolling through my newsfeed and came across a few people from high school who I didn’t even know were on Facebook and I thought if they look me up and wonder whether or not to friend me what impression will they get from my timeline?
It wasn’t a happy thought.
The world is loaded with outrage, much of it justified. I don’t apologize for any of my convictions or the passion with which they are expressed but convictions about issues are mere fractions of what makes us what we are. Social media is uniquely configured to feature bits and pieces; a few lines of text, maybe an oh so clever meme and viola! There’s the face seen by the world. The face you have chosen to present.
I want a nicer face.
One of my favorite quotes to live by comes from the movie Harvey in which Jimmy Stewart explains his approach to life like this:
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be,” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
There are a lot of smart people in the world. There are way more people who like to think they’re smart. One of the things blogging has taught me is that being smart (or thinking I’m smart- you be the judge) doesn’t fix anything. And it easily becomes the plank in the eye that neutralizes our credibility as we presume to remove specks from the eyes of others. So I’m giving it a rest.