Running Behind

It isn’t working out. Present continuous.

My July commitment, of a post a day has failed as of the middle of this month, and I am lagging behind. Seven days. Six, if this post ever gets published. The saving grace is that I have not been lazy. I have been busy on Twitter, Facebook, and oh-so-busy on WhatsApp.

Amba Ghat, MH, India

*

I even started reading a book. Then, I saw the comments of the folks who reviewed, wrote blurbs, and praised the book. Almost all of them were people I disagree with from an ideological point of view. 20 pages into the book. I am reading it, but I am not. A question lingers: If those that I essentially disagree with have endorsed the book, isn’t it obvious that I will disagree with what’s in the book? I linger on a paragraph. I am not reading it, I am seeing it. My eyes don’t dart the way they should, when I read a book. They hold a focus. It’s a form of slavery, I say to myself. To trust in reviews and endorsements. Reviews and endorsements by people who hold a common view, somehow, tell me of what to expect. 20 pages done. I wonder if I should just shelve it. I continue lingering on that paragraph.

Best case, I will learn something new. Worst case I would have gone through a few hundred pages of propaganda that I am already aware of. Should I pick another one from my unread shelf?

I have decided to read the book.

With an open mind. Books are ideas. They may be good ideas or bad ideas. Yet, they always inform us. Books are not good or bad for the ideas they present. They may be good or bad in the way they are written. There’s no such thing as a bad idea. Come to think of it. Ideas have a purpose and a content. Those may be at cross-purposes with each other. Not all ideas work. But ideas are to be celebrated. Even if they have no standing or a life. They have to be celebrated for what they offer and the story that they tell of the human progress.

Always chase an idea.

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2 thoughts on “Running Behind

  1. But what of ideas that want to destroy everything you hold dear? What of ideas that don’t hold people’s rights to express ideas as valid, and work towards taking away from a large group of people that “right” (for lack of a better word)? If there are no bad ideas, are there good ideas? I’m NOT saying that bad ideas shouldn’t be read or discussed, quite the opposite. But do they need a protection from individual judgement?

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    • I think the answer is easy: ideas that seek destruction or are violent or oppressive in any way need to shunned, discarded, and put away for good. Good ideas can do that. But what’s good and and what’s bad is again a very personal matter. So, it’s good to look at all ideas (that’s where the decision to read the book came)

      When someone protects an idea, it’s clear that that someone obviously feels the idea is good. This is where having a conversation around ideas comes in.

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