Tag Archives: thoughts

Second steps

Santa Anita Canyon hiking tripOn the hike the other day, we ended up at this waterfall. We’d crossed the streams several times, and while watching everyone, including myself, balance on rocks, I had an epiphany.

I am learning how to accept the fragility of beginnings and learning how to give them the space they need to solidify. And though I knew beginnings were tricky, what I learned while navigating the wobbly rocks is that sometimes the second step is sometimes even trickier.

Because the second step requires the first step to have been stable. If the first step crossing the water on slick rocks isn’t solid, it usually results in a fall into the water when you shift your weight to continue your journey. And these falls can result in cuts and bruises or broken bones, if you’re particularly uncoordinated.

Falling and dealing with the resulting pain would normally be enough to keep me from trying (I really hate pain), but if I never take the first step, I miss out on all the fun and adventure on the other side of the river. I don’t want to simply stand in the place where I am or where I was; I want to stand in a new place. I know that the new place might not be better than where I’m currently standing, but I’ll never know if I don’t visit. And sometimes the trick to making the second step successful is making the third step faster to build momentum so that the steps take care of themselves.

And if I fall in the water, at least I’m en route to a new place and on an adventure. The journey begins whenever you step outside your door, and you never know where the second step will take you – possibly to the treasure chamber of a dragon.

So I will take the second step. And the third. And see where I end up, even if it means walking through the Mines of Moria or the Wasteland. Because sometimes the only way home is through a gate that was never there before that requires a second step to reach.

reason #642 why I love blogs

So I love traipsing through various blogs and reading what other people have to say (yes it’s a sentence fragment, whatever). I think it comes from my insatiable curiosity (yes I know what happened to the cat) coalescing with my love of language and being stirred by my love of learning. Anyway, while I was out, I came across this post on Notes from Evil Bender. In it the author (self-identified as ‘he’) pulls up an article on an apparently conservative blog about the prevalence of Marxists in US academia and points out the numerous ways that this essay wouldn’t pass a freshman composition class. So I pop on over to the post on American Thinker and read through it.

Both essays have valid points and logical fallacies (I’m not citing them because they aren’t the point of my post), but what kept me reading was the discussion that followed the American Thinker post (I think the Evil Bender post will probably pick up some more comments, but if not, what I compared it to in my head was the discussion from any number of posts on boingboing.net [which I enjoy reading for those who don’t read beyond this point]).

There were numerous comments on the American Thinker post about the stupid liberals and their anti-American thinking and unpatriotic actions, but when I got to comments like

“Global warming is the new Marxism – dogma masquerading as science, to use Mr. Pipes’ description. We are embarking on the establishment of a totalitarian state in the name of global warming.” (posted by jorod),


“Classic liberalism was long-since distorted to the point of being meaningless. To me the operative term most of the time is STATIST. Same idea as the original Marxists. Big government advocates who want more and more control of individual decisions, paired with the people who are willing to give the STATE power over their lives–in hopes of (fill in the blank).” (posted by BobG),

I began to realized that I knew this rhetoric and I knew it well, just not with all these words.

For jorod’s comment, substitute “global warming” for “the war on terror” or “freedom” and “Marxism” for something along the lines of “fascist,” and you have a recurring theme from comments on liberal blog postings on things like the US government putting RFID trackers in new passports or the US realID. And as for BobG’s comment, I could copy it onto the nearest liberal blog without changing anything and (provided the post was political) it would fit fairly well.

And that’s when it hit me that my parents have been right for my whole life – you get people who are far enough away on the political spectrum to argue about something and they circle back around so that they are saying the same thing – just starting from different points. And I think that’s why I love reading all these crazy posts on the internet. The conservative blog is yelling about the diminishing freedom of speech because of the crazy liberal media while the liberal blogs are yelling about how the puppet media assists in duping society as the government strips our freedoms. And both say that the other side is stupid and unable to reason their way out of a paper bag, but then complain that they can’t enter into a fair debate.

I think it’s fantastic that both sides appear so clearly in this wonderful medium. And while I may not agree with (or necessarily believe) everything I read on the internet, and especially the blogs I follow, I would never in a million years say that they should cease to exist or that the people who comment should get real lives. What’s more real than debating ideas with other people? I think it’s brilliant that I get to interact with these people and read their comments and watch them fight it out. The only part I wish I could change is best embodied in “Internet Argument” posted on xkcd where the scroll-over says “It’s easier to be an asshole to words than to people.” And that’s reason #642 why I love meandering through the wonderful world of blogs….