I took some time off from blogging, and I must admit it felt good. I read more and went to sleep earlier, both of which are big improvements in my life.
Blogging, much like my diet soda consumption or Facebook habit, is something you must manage carefully lest it become a giant time suck. We all get into habits or hobbies that consume us from time to time, and I can assure you blogging can eat up time you could be spending doing something else.
A wide array of stories should be on your mind right now, including:
- We're getting ready to blow up Syria. I've been concerned about this for quite some time now, as evidenced here.
- Turns out, despite assurances to the contrary, the NSA is spying on Americans and others on U.S. soil, as well as cataloging various social media posts, as evidenced here, here, and here.
- "The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule" are considered to have engaged in extremist ideology, says one Department of Defense training manual. From the same manual: "Instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place." (emphasis added)
And so I have officially come to the problem I've come to repeatedly as a blogger on the subject of preparedness: Do I continue to bring up the stories of "why" you should be prepared, or should I focus on the "how" to be better prepared? It's a big decision. And I need to start making better decisions on how I spend my blogging time.
There are ample sites out there that touch on both of these issues. You need not tune in here to get information on either subject matter. And that, in turn, leads me to another question: Am I advancing the discussion with this blog?
One of the books I've been reading lately is, of all things, Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. While I am no fan of Mr. Alinsky's political beliefs, he was a true guru of organizational behavior and student of human thought processes. His reference to Learned Hand reveals much about his attitude towards revisiting one's own beliefs:
"One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated."
My inner doubt is strong these days. Note that's not a depressing or defeatist attitude on my part. In many respects, it's quite liberating to know that it's good for us to re-evaluate our positions on things from time to time. And that's precisely what I am doing now - doing a gut check to make sure I'm taking my blogging efforts in the right direction.
I share all of this with your tonight for one reason - when it comes to your own preparedness efforts, your political beliefs, your religious beliefs - let your inner doubt manifest itself from time to time. Let it hone and refine your beliefs and thought processes to ensure you're on the right track. Note I'm not advocating some sort of moral relativism here; I'm simply encouraging all of us to examine our beliefs, knowledge and attitudes, find out where there may be some weak spots or inconsistencies, and then go out and seek to fill the gaps.
As I often tell you: preparedness is about doing the basics really well. Part of those basics is being willing and able to do honest self-assessments of where you are and what you need to do to get to the next stage.