N.B. – the issue about which I wrote this post has faded into the background since. It refers to Clanchygate. I wasn't brave enough to write about it explicitly at the time. I still think listening is a good idea, though.
The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.
Thackeray, Vanity Fair
I haven't always been a very good listener.
Somewhere along the line I've had the notion that if there's something happening that I need to have an opinion on it and join the conversation.
More recently, I've changed my view. On Twitter, I've read a lot of conversations. The notion strikes me to join in, but most of the time I don't. I've realised that a lot of the time I don't actually have anything to add. I just wanted to make the noises of the self. I type, therefore I am. But by making noise I can make the conversation about me and my experiences. But the conversation often isn't about me, not even remotely. I can still be part of those conversations, but I don't need to say anything. I can just listen.
A Big Thing has dominated Twitter over the last few days. A number of people have given their takes, in tweet or post form. I read lots of them. I will read more. There's a lot of other literature to read as a result, too. I write this post not to denigrate or dismiss the opinions of those who have shared – far from it. I'm not seeking any high ground. Some of these takes have made me think a great deal.
I thought about giving mine; I thought about penning a post.
Here it is:
Instead of giving my opinions, I'm not going to. Not out of fear or anything like that. It's simply out of knowing that I don't need to make noise right now. I don't want to distract or detract from the important conversations that are going on. I don't have things to add; it isn't about me. I just need to listen and read.
If you're reading this, feel free to send me something to read.