Last week I did something I hadn’t done before. I removed a blog post. Why? Because it was ill conceived and poorly constructed. And, I have come the point in life, or the age, in which I think it is not only a good idea to admit my mistakes, but it is necessary. Necessary? Yes. Because if we stick to our mistakes and if our egos are too fragile to take correction, then we have just added a traffic jam to any meaningful conversation. Meaningful conversation is one of the treasures of life. I enjoy a good conversation about as much as I enjoy reading. And I enjoy reading quite a bit.
As Craig Ferguson (comic and naturalized American citizen) likes to say, in America you get a second chance. And a third chance. And if you are tenacious, as many chances as you want.
I should be more cautious, I suppose. Boy, that’s difficult when words just want to burst and spill all over the page. My oldest son Michael, who takes after his mother in this, had a comeback line that has become part of the idiom in our family: “I’m just saying, is all”. This became a regular defense when he said things that irritated his brother into a brawl. “Just saying” has started many a war, many a romance, many a confession.
And many a needed conversation.
In this age of political correctness, where great swaths of topics are off limits lest you be considered unenlightened, we need to keep the conversation going. We need to think things through and articulate what we think. If we do not, we will be silenced by those who grab the microphones and talk their way into power. Then I’d really be in trouble. The gatekeeper of my words is usually off duty or taking a nap. Words slip out. Whole heated monologues and arguments break loose from my unrestrained tongue and untethered fingers.
There are still places in this world where that quality would land me in jail or in front of a firing squad. So before our freedom of speech slips away because we stop exercising it, let’s keep the conversation going.