First Danielle at Modern Musings, and now Joel at Fearless Dreams have honored me with a Thinking Blog award. I do appreciate it, and no Danielle, i didn't forget. I just didn't know what to say, other than thank you.
People who write on websites, such as bloggers, walk in a world that is askew from the day to day life of most people. Most of us look at the statistics about our site at least occasionally. We look at how many people come to visit. We look at what they read. We look at how long they stay. We look at where they come from. At Shards, for example, 80% of the people who come here are from the United States. 90% come from the U.S. and Great Britain. Part of the reason for this is purely a matter of language. But that doesn't explain why almost no one from the rest of the world visits. English is the second most widely spoken language in the world, is the world's most influential language, and is used in 115 countries.
No. There are other reasons. At Shards I focus on how we create our world, how we make ourselves happy and unhappy, free and unfree. In short, self-actualization. This is easy to talk about when you have enough food, a roof over your head, a relatively low amount of government control, leisure, and a fairly open intellectual and spiritual climate. Much of the world isn't like this. A large part of the people of the world are most concerned about their next meal or safe water, feeding and housing their children. They are concerned about not being shot or kidnapped, or about who they're going to shoot or kidnap. They are concerned about keeping out of sight of the government. They are concerned about co-existing with their neighbors, which they attempt peacefully or coercively. Many people, in other words, have physiological, security, and social needs to meet. Nor do they have a cultural history of free thought and self-direction, a history which is fast disappearing in English-speaking countries as people allow themselves to be convinced they are of the earth, that the meaning of their lives is in the economic function they serve in society, the next new toy will make them happy, and political solutions will bring them freedom, security, and happiness.
At Shards, thinking is based on the need to do. We don't begin at birth. We don't end at death. I'm not convinced there is a god. There is no reward in heaven or punishment in hell. And if there was, frankly I wouldn't want heaven or fear hell overly much. But we are here for reasons. Not necessarily to reach some goal. I'm not sure there is one in the sense most people think of goals. But to do and experience things in ways not otherwise possible.
When I was in the Air Force we used to say
If all else fails, read the instructions. If it still doesn't work, get a bigger hammer.
Shards is a halting attempt to read the instructions graven in the deepest recesses of our selves, and the world in which we move, so we can avoid of the bigger hammer of coercion used by individuals and governments, and embrace the unfolding of which we are a part.
This is a meme started Ilker Yoldas at The Thinking Blog. It comes along with these rules.
Congratulations, you won a !
Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme.
The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to the post that tagged you, and the original post that started it all, so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
I'm not very good at following rules, but I would like to tag, and thank, three other bloggers who help get the mental juices flowing in my mind and my heart. These are Steve Olson, Liz Strauss, and Christine Kane.