Writing the first post of a new blog after many years of blogging is much harder than writing the first post on your first blog ever. In blogging, as in life, the longer you've been around the more aware you are of your own limitations, weaknesses and imperfections. Getting over that and just writing anyway is the challenge I'm giving myself with this new space.
Where to start?
Over the past while, several friends have linked to a New York Times article called The Moral Bucket List by David Brooks. I guess many of us are reaching that age where we question if we've done enough or achieved enough in our lives. In the article, Brooks talks about 'stumblers'.
This is a philosophy for stumblers. The stumbler scuffs through life, a little off balance. But the stumbler faces her imperfect nature with unvarnished honesty, with the opposite of squeamishness. Recognizing her limitations, the stumbler at least has a serious foe to overcome and transcend. The stumbler has an outstretched arm, ready to receive and offer assistance. Her friends are there for deep conversation, comfort and advice.
Stumblers, he explains, don't build their lives by being better than others, but by being better than they used to be. That is an outlook and life path that makes a lot of sense to me. Whether I'm walking more steps than I did last week, planning a better vacation than I did last year, connecting more with my children than I did last month, growing juicier tomatoes than I did last summer, or shopping more ethically than I did previously, I want to do better and be better.
Those are all practical, tangible ways of being better than I used to be. But there is also an intellectual and social aspect to being better. That involves a lot of listening, questioning, and discussing. In my quest to be better and do better, I want to share some of the things that I've found interesting or insightful and I want to ask you for your opinion on the things that are making me think.
An ethical compass
We all have an ethical compass. It is guided by our own personal values, knowledge and ignorance, and influenced by our cultural surroundings. We are all custodians of our own personal ethical compass and contributors to the evolution of our cultural surroundings.
For me, part of being better and doing better is treating myself better, treating others better, and treating our earth better. I am delighted when I find a way that all of those intersect and frustrated when they seem to be in conflict with each other. As I read, write, and discuss, I'll be looking for ways that I can keep stumbling into a better place. One day at a time.