Saturday, March 14, 2009
© 2009, the Institute of Applied Common Sense
The Laughingman was first amongst us at the Institute to blog - and suffer the accompanying abuse.
When the Logistician entered the blogosphere, he noticed some of the Laughingman’s posts generated tons of comments and others zip. He asked the Laughingman, “Why the difference?”
In characteristic fashion, the Laughingman replied, “I have no idea.”
What the Logistician took that to mean was, “Figure it out for yourself, idiot; it’s better that you do it that way.”
(The Logistician asked him what would drive more traffic to the blog, even if no comments were left. The Laughingman replied, “A picture of Jessica Alba; preferentially naked.” This, the Logistician understood.)
Having engaged in this adventure since April, the Logistician, in response to a recent similar inquiry from a new blogger about increasing comments, remarked, “I have absolutely no idea.”
For the Logistician, unless the topic is abortion, gay marriage, stem cells, welfare, drugs, illegal immigration, government bailouts, or Obama, this was the truth.
Additionally, we learned early on that taking a position down the middle of the road, and citing the good and bad points made on both sides of the debate, simply yields attacks from both sides, and praise from neither.
On the other hand, when responding to the suggestion of a fellow blogger that a lack of comments reflects a lack of interest on the part of the readers, we questioned that assumption. In fact, we felt that when we posted our best written work, we actually received the fewest responses. Regardless of the subject.
Nirvana in the world of writing is attained when you strike a chord with 95% of readers. The Logistician, who conducts motivational workshops, refers to this as the “room head nodding response.” He knows he’s reached his audience when at least 95% of the participants all nod, as if on cue, at the same time.
Still we wondered how one gets there. How one identifies that “it.” We think we may have stumbled upon it.
We noted the paucity of comments to our last post, which piggybacked on Pablo Neruda’s “You’re the Result of Yourself.” We suggested that everyone dissatisfied with life, if they were truly honest, would admit that their condition is due to their decisions made during their lives.
The notion first began to take shape when we referenced a quote from a classic movie about most humans living inconsequential lives.
It took on more shape yesterday, when a colleague quipped about our discomfort viewing what we see in the mirror when we look at ourselves.
Finally this morning, things crystallized when we heard a historian quote the phrase, which serves as our title to this article, “Rarely does a man love his true self.”
On the right side of our blog, under the heading, “Who is encouraged to participate,” appears the following:
“Solution-oriented individuals… who, unrestrained by political correctness, are willing to ‘dig deep’ in an effort to understand and explore the underlying root causes of problems, rather than merely focus on the symptoms.”
A further explanation of the goals of the Institute suggests that “…by avoiding subjective and partisan approaches… the analysis will improve …. [We seek to avoid] being distracted and sidelined by symptoms. We can thereafter craft better solutions.”
There is no easier place to start addressing any problem than one’s self.
We think that this is a principle which can be applied to our nation.
In order to address this very uncomfortable place in which we find ourselves, and about which we hear so much barking today, we need to pick up a huge mirror and check ourselves out.
There’s lot of talk about the dangers of centralized governance, which has been renamed “socialism.” That may be the case. At the same time, we need to recognize the limitations of the “let the market determine” or “herding cats” governance model.
That doesn’t mean that we need to relinquish freedoms. It’s just means we need to recognize that with freedom comes responsibilities, on the part of us all.
Simply put, we need to remake our true selves so that we can love ourselves again. (If we ever did.)
As one of our regular readers commented, “One of my favorite lyrics is, ’He’s a walking contradiction, partly truth, partly fiction.’
It’s never too late for us to be what we might have been.
© 2009, the Institute of Applied Common Sense
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