Tuesday, December 1

“Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902)

I learned a couple things about blogging yesterday, not to mention about myself. Both of them have directly to do with asking questions.

The first thing I learned was that it’s a great idea to end a post with a question if your goal is to start a dialog. It’s just a great way to start a discussion.

The second is that, if I’m not asking a question at the end of a post, then I have somehow come to the erroneous conclusion that my particular little perspective is the only truth I want to know. That scares me. I realized after responding to Matt’s response yesterday that, regardless of whatever conclusions I’d come to on the subject of honesty, the idea of this blog is to encourage discussion. And my response didn’t do that.

When I’d recognized that simple truth, I was able to honestly look back at other responses I’ve made, whether to comments regarding my quote fetish or as responses to other blogs. I wasn’t entirely pleased with my observations. Fortunately I have the rest of my life to apply the lesson I’ve learned.

So I’m resolved to doing two things more often: First, start the discussion with a question, and; second, once I’ve said my piece, ask more questions than try to provide additional opinion.

I appreciate those of you who have indulged me by subscribing to this little exercise and I promise to get out of the way more in the future.

One of my favorite things about learning new things is that it is a continually humbling process.  I kinda think that’s what Mr. Butler was getting at.

So here's the question to end the blog: Where do you think the line is between standing firm on a value you believe and remaining open to learning new things? If we're doing all this thinking in order to define our moral home ground better, when is it appropriate to start defending that home ground instead of trying to define it? Or is it maybe a perpetual balancing act...?