One of the first things honest things I learned from an adult was CYA. That’s ‘cover your ass’, for those of you fortunate enough to have never encountered people who shirk responsibility and avoid accountability rather than step up. The principle differs for some of us, but it still applies to all of us. Even when we’re making friends, or having a chat with one we’ve already made, we might amend or add something to what we just said after having said it. In conversations, I playfully refer to such pronouncements as ‘disclaimers’.
In books, it’s a bit different. You’ve got to jump right in with a few words about what the rest of these words will be about, to grab the interest of the readers you’re after and push the others away in one carefully worded passage. This blog will be compiled into a book, and the foreword will read a lot like this introduction.
But this is a blog, so we’re calling this post the introduction.
Am I making sense so far?
Since I was a kid, I have asked questions that got completely different answers depending on who I asked. At first it floored me, that two different people could have two completely different explanations for something that I was curious about. Then it freaked me out a little, as I learned that there are way more than two sides to every issue. It freaked me out even more when I realized how people treated each other just because they were on different sides of the same issue.
The way that personal beliefs determine each of our paths has always been a subject of great interest to me. Any book written by someone who went from little or nothing to great financial or spiritual wealth always points out the importance of examining our own personal beliefs. Successful people know that what we believe acts as a kind of blueprint for our outer lives, and that it is very difficult to change the outer without addressing the inner first.
That’s why this blog won’t be all footnoted up. These are things I’ve heard, or read somewhere. I did my research, but most of the sources I found to back up some of these ideas were not the same place I first heard them. Many of the original sources are lost, shrouded in the forgetfulness that my questioning mind exhibits sometimes; others are people I have fallen out of touch with, or might not want to be a footnote in a blog like this. It would be appropriate for me to mention where I first heard each item, footnote all my sources, and quote a whole lot of other people at length if this was that kind of blog. I’ve read plenty of those kinds of books and blogs, and I understand how the formula works.
This is not that kind of blog, however.
This blog is about questions that many people don’t like to ask, and some of the answers I’ve heard for them over my lifetime. Questions get added as time goes on, just as answers change with new developments and information. That’s what this blog will cover, the way the people that I have talked to about these issues comment on them and feel about them. Since nearly all of my living on Earth has happened in the United States, many of the entries will be things that folks in that country believe.
One of the most fascinating aspects of life, to me, is the way beliefs change over time. If this kind of thing were written a few hundred years ago, it would undoubtedly mention that the Earth is flat and that the best way to cure most diseases is to drain someone’s blood until they get better. They could have footnoted the entries up, with lots of quotes from pre-eminent doctors and scientists…and we would still laugh at them today.
That’s another good reason not to footnote this blog up. I don’t mind tomorrow’s reader laughing at me, any more than I mind today’s reader doing the same. But there will be no laughing at my sources, unless you take the time to do some research.
It’s entirely possible that a little research might just kill that amusement, though; these are thoughts that hurt to think, after all. I happen to think they hurt for a reason, and that they need to be addressed despite the pain associated with doing so. Just like leeching and horribly inaccurate geography, the beliefs we hold today are not necessarily the beliefs that will be held by the next generation. The one after that is sure to have moved past a lot of this stuff, and the one that follows will surely assume that this entire blog is fun fiction.
Maybe some of it is fiction, and I have collected too much information from unreliable sources. The thing of it is, though…even if some of this stuff is even somewhat true, it’s enough to make the most formidable person quake in their boots a little. And if it isn’t true…why do so many people believe it?
There I go again, thinking another thought that it kind of hurts to think. Get used to it, my friend…I’ll be here all year, once a week, with another pleasant mind-bender.
I get it if this isn’t your kind of thing; the most important thing I may have learned in all my questioning is that people are a lot more different than each other than I initially imagined. Riding this beautiful planet around the sun twenty or thirty times is enough to make the most open-minded person realize that life will find a way to push our buttons. It might take more trips to realize that those buttons are there so we can address the issues that underlie them and improve our lives through that careful examination; but at that point, it becomes kind of fun to think the thoughts that hurt to think.
Won’t you join me? I sure hope so!
Since we’ll be looking at a lot of statistics, we’ll cover that first. Come on back next week, so we can look at how studies show that statistics are often highly misrepresentative of actual facts.
We’ll call it ‘Studies show statistics are wrong!’
Doesn’t that sound fun?
Thanks for reading!
All the best,