Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brain overload!

Man, my brain hurts. I spent most of yesterday thinking about my last post, and most of this morning thinking about the comments on it and my responses to them. Worrying, too: "Did I think out my answers? Was I unemotional enough? etc." I tend to avoid discussing controversial issues. Really. I like to sit in the back of the room and listen to other people furiously converse about subjects, and leave when it gets too heated.

But do I not engage because I prefer to listen and learn, or because I'm too afraid? And if I'm afraid, what exactly am I afraid of? This is another issue that has consumed my brain this morning. I'm not kidding, last night I was freaked out by what I had written about, even though I felt it was important to say it. And if I felt it was important, it should be said.

But it's not as simple as that. In studying history, I have been made aware of the danger of elucidating ideas as facts. The facts as we know them are frequently subject to change, and are usually open to interpretation. Thus, when I open my mouth, I am barraged by mental needles reminding me to hedge my answers, make sure my audience knows my qualifications, don't commit to anything unless 100% certain. And even then, it's just a very likely hypothesis. If you haven't heard a historian speak on their subject, watch a documentary. I love how they almost never commit fully to an opinion.

I'm not saying all my conversations are that careful. They aren't; I can talk nonsense with the best of them. But when I'm putting thoughts onto paper or explaining my position to someone who doesn't know me that well and hasn't seen my charming demeanor in person? You bet I'm being careful. And I try to be gracious when my errors are pointed out to me. Bah, I sound like a girl scout. All sugary and sweet. I have to throw myself up now:)

So if I'm careful in conversing, and aware that I need to be careful when throwing facts and opinions around, why does it freak me out to go public with an opinion? Of course, the answer to that is simple. I don't want to be laughed at. I don't want a conversation to degenerate into name-calling, which has happened to me before, although never through this blog. I don't want people to assume I won't like them or be friends with them, because I have previously stated that I hold this or that opinion. That has also happened. I apparently have quite the reputation back at one of my old churches. I voiced my opinions loud and clear, because I was among friends and they knew I loved them. Right? Ha ha.

So I am left with this fear. What do I do with it? Never voice opinions? Always sit in the back of the room? I don't think so. I used to have a voice. I was too opinionated, that much is true, and I offered advice a little too freely, but shutting down my voice entirely because I've previously made an ass of myself is not the way to go. So I shall be thinking on this fear.

And are you done with reading my introspections? Good. I am too. It's good to dive deep every once in a while, but frankly I'm exhausted by these latest dives. My next post will be all that is frivolous, pink, and cotton candy.


Cap'n John said...

It was an excellent post and it clearly showed you had a put a lot of thought into it. Likewise the comments were all excellent, well worded, polite, & stayed on topic. Rather than be concerned about the wisdom of making controversy-invoking posts like your previous one, I say Go For It! From appearances you have mature readers who enjoy a good debate and can do so while keeping things civil. It really was a pleasure reading all those comments.

Beowulfa said...

You know, I'm with ya. We have awesome readers and commenters:)

Grai's Gang said...

I hold to the belief that the free exchange of ideas is paramount to a free society. Introspection,debate the respectful look at ones ideas; should be encouraged.

But I also love the cotton candy posts.

Entilzah said...

Facts never change. Truth, on the other hand, is definitely subject to intrepretation and can change...

And never be afraid to voice your opinion. While there are times it may be more appropriate than others, if you let fear of being "wrong" keep you from expressing your opinion then you will never truly be yourself.

Fal is right... free exchange of ideas is paramount to a free society. How else can we learn and grow other than seeing other viewpoints, sifting through them for the truth, and incorporating them into our own view?


Wulfa said...

@ Entilzah: I think I was spoiled growing up. My dad, a reliability engineer for NASA, can talk to anyone. And I do mean anyone. In conversation I have never seen him lose his temper, get annoyed, or appear to be doing anything but listening politely to what the other person is saying. And when he does voice his own opinion he does it in such a way that brooks no offense. He does his homework and is always fairly knowledgeable about whatever subject he holds an opinion on.

That being said, one of the worst punishments he could visit upon his children was talking to us about our misdeeds. Hours could go by, as he tried to figure out why we acted as we did and try to show us a more logical approach.

So growing up I was not exposed to any emotional, name-calling debates. I will add here that I was homeschooled, and never really associated with anyone but nerdish types who liked to discuss things ad nausuem anyway. I guess you could say that was a drawback to my education, but I have never really felt that any part of my education was sub-par.

I hit driving age, began to make friends outside of my family's circle, and was made aware of a different type of persuasion: name-calling and labeling. I stopped talking about subjects that I felt could trigger those responses (outside of my family). Over time this turned into fear, and I don't like being afraid, hence the writing about it.

So ... I am curious. How did you come up with "Entilzah" and what does it mean/signify? If you care to share that, that is.

Entilzah said...

"Entil'zah" is from the TV Show Babylon 5, which, in my opinion, was the greatest Sci-Fi show ever written (though the recent Dr. Who comes very close and Buffy is probably its superior in the "fantasy" category).

I could so totally geek out and give you the full entymology of it, but suffice it to say it was a title given to various characters at various times during the show's run... and it was a very good thing.

The B5 boards were my first real foray into online "nicks," and of course, all variations of it were already taken when I got there. So when I moved on to other online stuff, I adopted it in homage.

Once I created a more established identity as Barona (or Bar), it kind of fell by the wayside. Not really sure why it forces me to use this ID on your site... but oh well!

And as for dad's explaining in excruciating detail why what you did wrong was wrong... yeah, I have two parents who did the same thing and were VERY good at it!

Wulfa said...

@Entilzah: I think we once tried to watch Babylon 5, but it failed to catch our interest. I have the suspicion that we should have watched more than the first ten minutes of the pilot episode. When we try the series again, I'll be on the lookout for Entil'zah.