The Unredacted Blog of Dirk B. Sayers, Author
What a piece of work we are, absorbing random attitudes and values passively, largely without our knowledge or permission. They ooze through our filters, claiming squatters rights in our thoughts as experience and confirmation bias conspire to shape us unconsciously. To what degree does our place in society and the choices we make reflect our native, authentic selves and how much is learned? Are we conscious and present in the decisions we make or are they predetermined by the lessons we learned before we were even aware of the inherent bias underpinning the lessons?
Growing up in the sixties, I was at the epicenter of the “do your own thing,” or “me,” generation. Looking back, it’s hard not to blush at the strident, self-conscious activism of the time. At it’s height, we all seemed to have a “cause.” So pervasive was this attitude on campus one of my professors observed (tongue-in-cheek):
“It’s possible the ‘me’ generation is inadvertently legitimizing conformity behind a smoke screen of individuality.’”
Don’t hold me to the exact words and I won’t “out” her…(it was a woman)…but her words and her way stuck. She was quietly, brilliantly herself. Wiser than her years and gracious in her open-mindedness even while hewing to her own moral and intellectual compass. Was her compass perfect? I’d stake seven figures I don’t have that it wasn’t, but it was way better than mine at the time. But she always exhorted us to get work toward improvement, rather than perfection.
Now with her words four-plus decades in my review mirror, I echo the wisdom she so freely shared with us, even as I struggle to apply it each day. Each day, by the narrowest of margins, get better—even if it’s by just a cat whisker. That is the purpose of this blog. In the Socratic tradition, this blog will take out little slivers of life for examination. If you’re so inclined, I welcome your company and your own wisdom on this walk of discovery.