Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anecdotal Lives

Sometimes I get very interesting questions from my commenters (and luckily I almost always get excellent comments as well). The questions which get me thinking rather deeply about something sometimes spawn their own post are among my favorites, but they also place me in a somewhat precarious position when answering.

Recently, I got a truly excellent question (which I'll address in a subsequent post) which I'm keen to answer, but I felt obliged to place a lot of caveats in front of the answer. In fact, I think so many "warnings" needed to be put in place that I figured it'd add about a quarter to the length of the answer, and my posts are already pretty long!

When I answer questions which have broad applications (and implications), I want the reader to keep in mind that I'm speaking in general and not about anyone specifically. While generalities are very useful in forming a theoretical framework and developing an overview of the world, they don't apply to any one person or situation. All of our lives are anecdotal, and I don't wish to lay claim to dispensing all encompassing wisdom.

And, honestly, I also don't want to come across as asserting that I'm "right". Like everyone else on the planet when considering an issue, I take all my experiences, ideas, and thoughts and collect them into a little pile, then sort them out into what seems to be the best answer available to me at the time. It's not the only answer. It's not the best answer among all the people you could possibly ask in the world. It's not even the same answer I'd give 10 years from now, but it's what makes sense to me right now at this moment.

2 comments:

gaijinalways said...

Makes sense to me. I usually feel the same way, though to be honest, I find it's difficult to qualify my statements so often, makes us sound a bit wishy-washy. But we do need to address other viewpoints, so that's why often what you post on your blog really hits my vein, so to speak. I often feel like you really speak from the heart, and you usually have given the topic some thought.

Shari said...

I made this post so I can reference it from now on at the beginning of every one of the other types of posts and I won't have to say it over and over again. ;-)

I can see where it may seem "wishy-washy" though. However, I think that, as I've gotten older, I've learned that I didn't know as much as I thought I knew when I was younger. There are things I have been wrong about and I think I just want to acknowledge that I could be "wrong" again.

Thanks for your very kind comment, and for reading.