The other day I was reading a book by Krishnamurti, one of his first books called ‘At the Feet of The Master’, and there was a short passage that struck me deeply. He cautioned that “you must guard against certain small desires which are common in daily life,” such as the desire to appear clever. Krishnamurti suggested that “it is better to speak little; better to say nothing, unless you are quite sure that what you wish to say is true, kind and helpful.”
That’s very profound advice. If I followed it then of course I would indeed speak very little, probably to the point of not having a blog. Why would that be so, you might ask?
Well, for starters, how much of what I ‘think I know’ is really true? Beyond my own feelings, which sometimes elude me, how much can I really speak about with great certainty? And even if I know something why should I say anything about it to someone else unless I can say it in a thoughtful way? Finally, even if I can shape my statement properly, what if the person I’m speaking to is not ready to hear what I have to say?
So, to speak properly three things all have to come together: (1) I know something true, (2) that I am able to express compassionately, and (3) which is helpful to the person I’m expressing it to. Can you see how this bodes ill for having a blog? Even if I meet criteria numbers 1 and 2, I have no way of knowing who I am speaking to because my audience is too varied.
For example, yesterday I wrote about why I didn’t feel like voting in elections anymore. I have felt this way for several months now. But I chose to announce this feeling on my blog yesterday because I wanted to make note of Scott Adams’ recently poll of economists. If I were going to vote then this is the sort of information that I would parse closely to help shape my view. I’m glad that Scott Adams was willing to take the time and spend the money to do this research, and he seems to have done it simply to raise the level of debate about who should be president.
I tried to advance my views in a non-threatening way, and at the same time make people aware of the poll underwritten by Scott Adams. But I can see that my post was too provocative. Someone left a comment to my post telling me that I needed to ‘take my head out of my ass’ which I assume was an expression of his view that I should vote (and apparently from his comments I gather he believes that Obama is the obvious choice based on ability to improve the economy).
Obviously, what I said was not helpful to this person. Of course, I could simply disallow comments like that but what would be the point? Maybe he’s right about Obama and I should listen to what he has to say. I didn’t mind his comment, which is why I approved it. But I keep asking myself: what is the point of having this blog?