I was having a conversation with a co-worker/buddy of mine the other day. As an IT manager I have a small team of IT pros that work under me. This particular character had reached the end of his two weeks leading up to his graceful exit from the company, and onto the next chapter of his professional career with a new company. As he stood in my office and we exchanged a few last words and shook hands, the conversation somehow turned into deeper things, which seems to happen frequently with this particular chap. We often discussed things like religion, politics, family, and finances in my office. On this particular occassion religion became the subject matter. We’re both committed Christians (a term that really makes me cringe, but I’m sure I’ll get into that some other day), but it seems both of us struggle with balancing diplomacy with dogma. Further, the struggle is not just with atheists or members of other religions, but also among people with whom we’d identify as having the same basic belief system as ourselves.
Now, there’s a million rabbit trails that could come from those last couple sentences, but all of that is probably for other posts (if I actually keep this up). On this particular occassion, the conversation ultimately led to really what amounts to the old meaning of life question. We talked about his move to a new job, how I percieve my role in the world as an IT Manager with a bit of disdain, what would really be time well spent in life, etc. While I seem to be skilled at this discipline called “Information Technology” does it really serve any useful purpose in the grand scheme of things? Don’t get me wrong, I work for a great, family-owned company, which I feel fortunate to have a position with. However, lately I spend a lot of time thinking about what I believe are more important things such as those I mentioned above; religion, family, politics, economics, etc. These are all things that will affect the future of not only my own kids, but all generations to come. It’s important stuff, although I think it is only time and perspective (like getting married, having kids, the passing away of loved ones, changing jobs, etc) that allow you to eventually realize the importance of some of these types of things.
In any case, at the end of our conversation we talked about how Andrew wanted to do more reading and journaling/blogging about these sorts of things. I admire him for that, because in all honesty, I don’t really like reading, or writing for that matter. My own wife is amazing at that sort of thing, but not me. I told him I wished I could convince myself to do it as well, because I think there is probably value in it, but I skirt it by reasoning away the percieved value. He said, “maybe you should just start a blog. Mike’s mind barfs.” We both chuckled.
Well, Andrew, I got to thinking about it, and decided you might be onto something.
Maybe I’ll keep it up, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll be the only one to know it exists. Unlike journaling though, which I’ve never been a big fan of, at least this way I feel like I’m accomplishing something, and can tag items so I can find them again if I do want to recall a thought or event. With journaling I never really got the point. I know if I journaled I’d never go back and fish through some un-indexed sea of thoughts, and nobody else would read it, so why waste my time? No offense to journalers (my wife is out buying a new journal right now, so sorry hon). I know different personality types use different tools. In any case, I’ve decided to try a sort of journaling with a twist. Publicly. Even if I can’t get something out of my own twisted mind barfs, maybe somebody else can.
Some of it will be about random life altering thoughts that pass through my head as I’m running and listening to podcasts, thinking about God, family, and the universe. Some of it will probably be benign thoughts about things that interest me like technology, photography, fishing or running. Probably often with some sort of armchair theological, philosophical, or maybe political bent. Basically whatever random mind barf happens to come out.
Here’s the danger. If you intend to read this, whether your an acquaintance, a close friend, someone who shares common (or different) theological or politcal beliefs; whether you’re my worst enemy or my own family, you’ll probably take exception with, or at least disagree with, my thoughts and opinions at some point. I disagree with myself on many occassions for goodness sake. It’s clear to me though, that genuine but respectful and constructive disagreement is the only way to get to the Truth (note the capital T…again…that’s for another day). So whether you be friend, family, aquaintance, or stranger…fire away. Want to know where I stand on something…ask. I think I’ve reached the point in my life where I don’t really care about what you think of me, as long as you have an accurate representation of who I am.
If you think I’ve got it all wrong, perhaps you can mind barf all over me and set me straight. So much better than a journal which just sits there and agrees with everything you say!