Thich Nhat Hanh suggests we write the question "Are you sure?" on a piece of paper and stick it up on the wall where we can see it. I did this. For ages I had this annoying little piece of paper sellotaped onto my computer screen at work. Every so often I would find myself in the middle of a heated discussion about some topic or other. I would be propagating my views with great self-assurance. I am regarded as something of an elder of the tribe at work. There's only one person who's been in my department longer. Everyone else has moved on. I've stayed put, too lazy or too unambitious to look for something else. So people, rather superstitiously, seemed to think that if I'd been there so long, maybe I knew a thing or two; maybe I had something of value to say. Thus I often managed to persuade my listeners that I was right.
At some point during the debate, I would suddenly notice the little piece of paper, and stop mid-sentence. "Am I sure?" Of course, I'm not sure. Can anyone ever be sure?
We bloggers are an arrogant lot.
Are we sure? No, but it's such fun pretending we are.
Friday, August 29, 2003