Thoughts on Expression

How we talk to our friends, how we talk to our coworkers, how we talk to our kids, family, etc. it is always different.

How do I want to to talk to my audience?

Do I want to write this in anonymously? If I write this without attaching my name to it then I’m open to write more freely. I wouldn’t feel like I need the usual constraints that one normally puts one oneself.

Since I want the freedom to say what I want, without those constraints, I will leave my name off of this. It also means that I will not be able to say, “Hey buddy check out my new blog!” If I stay true to that, I won’t put this directly on my Facebook page, I won’t ask friends to repost, so any popularity gained will be based on the merit of its contents.

Now this leads me to think a little deeper about expression while remaining anonymous. Often there is a negative connotation associated with anonymity, especially when many internet users have used anonymity to spew rude and disparaging comments that would be unconscionable  in a face to face conversation. Could there be a positive side to anonymity? Let’s say that in the following weeks some of what I write resonates with people. If I, First and Last Name omitted, take no credit, I am just a voice from the masses. As this construct, the ideas that are presented can be interpreted independently from the person that is putting them forth.

It would be great for us to be able to cut through our bias, and evaluate the merit of an idea objectively. Take the following quote.

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.  – A. Hitler

So you start reading the quote, you most likely see who I have attributed the quote to before you even finish reading it. You might reread it. You start to think, that fits what Hitler would say. Then we think, Hitler must have been talking about “the Jews,” they are the bad company. I hate Hitler and I hate this quote.

Now, what happens when I blow your mind. That was a quote by none other than George Washington. Let’s read it again: Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. – G. Washington. We can get something totally different from this. He’s talking about the purity of character. It is better to stand alone, without the comfort of others than to compromise yourself and your values. Now, I love George Washington more than ever and I love this quote.

Bias plays a huge role in how we interpret the world around us. How often do we slow down and question the way we view the world? How often do we challenge our own bias?

As I write this, I can picture two people on complete opposite sides of an argument saying, “The other guy needs to read this, then (s)he could come around to my way of thinking.” I hope that is not the take away. I hope the take away will be more along the lines of “maybe I should make sure of my convictions.”

Upon further consideration, I will be writing this, with input from friends and family. After all they do influence me. I will do my best to present my ideas in a manner that can be followed, but I cannot promise that they will always be concise. I cannot promise flawless grammar, but I will do my best to limit my offenses to misdemeanors. I will happily correct mistakes as they are found.

What are your thoughts?

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