Best Of Times, Worst Of Times….

2014-02-04_12-02-20One of the first books I read as a young man was Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. The opening words of that book has been in my mind since that time. It would not be the last book by Dickens that I would read. Many of his books were about social reform. When his father was thrown into debtor’s prison Charles had to step forward. I think maybe my avid social conscience was at least partially formed by my early exposure to his writing. But as usual, the main topic of this post is not about Dickens but about the best of time happening concurrently with the worst of time…

One of the good things about this blog, at least from my standpoint, is that since RJsCorner is not a niche blog I can go just about anywhere with my posts and as you know I often do just that. I don’t have a set pattern for what and when I blog about a particular topic. Will Rogers is a major part of my being here. He is indeed one of my heroes  but this blog ventures way beyond that arena.

In some ways the variety I offer in my posts here is also one of the worst things about this blog, especially when it comes to readership. If RJsCorner were a niche blog addressing a particular topic such as UFOs, conspiracies, retirement living and such it would probably get  more readership. When I for the most part, left the political arena recently I lost a significant amount of daily views. Some people just gravitate toward those types of posts. I am not lamenting that loss of readership because of this decision as much as I am enjoying my life a little more when very partisan politics is not part of my daily menu.

I like to think that even though I post on many different topics that this blog has some central themes. Those are:

  • to always question things
  • that our diversity is the secret to our peaceful existence
  • to love your neighbor as God told us to do.

I think I have learned those lessons in life and hope that a little of those experiences rub off on some of you. Life’s choices are almost never made in leaps but instead by a number of very small nudges. I hope to nudge you a little that way.

Sometimes I wonder why I put so much effort into my blogs when relatively few people actually read what I write? Some of it certainly has to do with my lack of social interaction in the world around me. Being deaf is very isolating, utterly so sometimes. So, maybe I blog where most people would just call up a friend for some chit-chat. I know I like to write. It is a strong part of who I am.  I kind of like to think that when you read my words we are just sitting around my kitchen table with a cup of coffee shooting the bull. I greatly miss that part of my life. I really don’t know the core answer as to why I blog but I do know that it is just part of who I am now and will continue to be so. I just hope a few people enjoy what I write and maybe even get nudged a little…

Why I Blog – The Real Reasons…

card board boxes in a pileThe last post I gave you some reasons why they say people blog and how I fit those categories.  This time I am going to give the three main reasons why I blog.    Some might think the contents of RJ’s Corner and my other blogs are a mishmash of topics but I think they hold a few of common threads.

1)  I blog to give a voice, even if it is a very small one, to those who are the most affected by our collective decisions but for various reasons have little time, resources, or experience to have their input heard. I blog because I have a very fundamental empathy for “the least of these”….

I often blog about politics and particularly the Republican variety because I think that party has for the most part lost its empathy and replaced it with fear. Instead of loving their brothers they now seem to fear him/her. They also seem to be anti-everything and pro-nothing.  Like it or not politics has such an inordinate  effect on our society at large. If we want to see change happen most often must occur there first.  What happens in Washington and the fifty State houses determines so much for those who have little voice in the matter. I try to lend my voice for those who can’t.

2)  I blog to try to get others to look outside their box.  We should all regularly expose ourselves to new experiences and thoughts. To do so is to grow; to fail to do so is to become stagnant. Looking at the world from a different angle, some call that a contrarian view,  is important to me and I hope I encourage my readers to also look beyond their current worldview.

3)  I blog because I think the world for the most part needs to lighten up. Too many of us take ourselves too seriously. Will Rogers is among the top-tier on my hero list. He had an extraordinary talent of poking fun at some very serious issues. I try to emulate him in that regard. Almost everything I post has at least a small element of jest so don’t take my words too seriously.

I am very happy I decided to address why I blog with the last two posts.  Sometimes my posts drift off topic. Sometimes I blog about things for no apparent reason. Keeping in mind the three main reasons I blog helps to center me. In the future I will strive to always look at what I post with these objectives in mind. That doesn’t mean that I won’t intentionally stray off topic once in a while but this list keeps me from going too far down a less productive  and maybe darker path.

Why Blog???


bloggerMy young Romanian blogger friend Cristian Mihai stated recently that one of the reasons he blogs is because he is lonely. Another is that he has to blog/write.  To not do so would deny his very existence. After reading those words and others from various bloggers I have started to think at a deeper, more fundamental level, just why do why I put so much energy into blogging.

  • Some Blog for fame. My readership is meager by many standards so I do not blog for fame. Fame seems to corrupt most that accomplish it anyway so maybe the lack of fame is really a good thing. I need to stay humble to do my job here on earth.
  • Some blog to vent their anger about what the world is doing. I am not one of those. I think those that do that are actually blogging more from fear than anger. I will not let fear or anger have that much of a hold on my life. I actually pity those who blog for that reason. I don’t blog from anger but sometimes I do blog from frustration.
  • Some say that bloggers are just lonely; they want to interact with others. There might be some truth to that for me. Being deaf it is hard to have these kinds of conversations with others in a face-to-face manner. It is more than hard; it is darn near impossible. I think that being lonely is one of the reasons I blog but it is only a minor reason. 
  • Some say that they blog to vent their feelings and to maybe add a little to the overall conversation. I think I fit pretty comfortably in that category. I know that what I say here will not change much about the things I discuss. But even if I just put a micro-nudge in someone’s mind to look at something a little differently I would be satisfied.
  • For most blogging is a very personal matter. To be good at it you must blog for yourself and not others. When I try to self-censor myself in certain areas I feel that I have somehow defeated the purpose of the time I spend in front of a computer. Yes, I must be true to myself but in order to be read I must also blog about things that are of interest to others.  I must blog about things I am passionate about. I must write things that people can relate to on a personal level.

This last week I have been on hiatus. It has given me time to reflect just why I spend so much energy blogging. Next time I will give you the three major reasons why I blog and will probably continue to blog for my remaining years….

My Blogging Philosophy….

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I will be as honest as I can.

I will sometimes tell you the weirdest truths

I won’t talk down to you

I will assume that you are just as smart and compassionate as I am

I will not scream or rant with the unreal belief that doing so will change your mind.

Sometimes I wonder why I blog so much.

  • Is it to soothe my ego?
  • Is is to gain fame?
  • Is it to get you to understand some alternate truth?
  • Is it just to pass the time of day?

In reality it is probably a little bit of each. I know that nothing I say can change your mind about almost anything but it just might nudge you a little in my direction. My blogging philosophy is pretty much defined by the five things above. I will never tell you something unless I believe it to be true but some of my truths might seem a little weird 🙂  I won’t talk down to you as if I have some great knowledge that you need to somehow get through your tiny little brain.  But, I am a compassionate guy about several different things. I like to believe that my main reason for blogging is to coax you to sharing my compassion.

I try to keep my posts on at least some level of jest and human. This is what my hero Will Rogers taught me. I want you to be informed about these things but I won’t call you an idiot if you don’t get on board.  I know you are as immersed in your own personal perceptions, some say prejudices, as I am.  I hope to get your attention so that you will come back for more visits. That is probably where the ego comes in.

This stuff, like many other things just popped off the top of my head….

Why Do I Blog??

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Computer UserI got to thinking the other day that I spend quite a bit of time blogging. I presently maintain two very active blogs (this one and another related to being a follower of Jesus).  In the past I have run six blogs at the same time.  Am I crazy or something? When I got right down to it I realize that blogging is now my creative outlet.

My body continues to degrade as the months go by. While I am still a pretty active guy I find I have more and more pains and conditions as time passes. When I was in the corporate world I designed and implemented software tools for an engineering division. When I retired from that I opened a cabinet shop and designed and built dozens of different hutches and such. Those were my creative activities. Now that I am retired and with a dwindling body I chose something a little less physical.  Even though I am now old my brain continues to travel at a mile a minute. I have spent my life asking “why” and I expect that will be the last word out of my mouth.

As I have mentioned I have always loved writing; it has always come easily for me.  I think that if I had had an impassioned guidance counselor in high school I would have likely chosen a literary field of endeavor instead of the technical one.  I wonder what my life would have looked like if I had chosen that path?  I read books at an early age and reading has been a lifelong activity for me.

When I went deaf twenty-five years ago much of my daily person to person interactions ceased. Daily chit-chat became nearly impossible. I could not get into discussions about the topics of the day with others.  Blogging allows me to do that again. It has become my virtual “ears”. Where others can call a friend and talk whatever is on their mind I do that now via blogs. I am an impassioned altruist now and blogging  also allows me to reach out to others with that message.  I hope I get through to a least a few with my messages.

At its foundation writing for me is my creative outlet. It allows me to express myself in way that I can’t or maybe wouldn’t do otherwise. I guess I am still a pretty creative person as I do blog a lot!  Thanks to everyone who occasionally listens…..

How to deal with the Internet’s biggest morons…

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The more popular my blog becomes the more I am open to the morons who troll around on the Internet.  While I have the best readers in the world (thanks Bob for the phrase), I also have my share of moron trollers lately.  Most end up on my blacklist who are blocked from further comments (thank heavens my blog host has that and it anti-spamming capability).  So, when I came upon this article about how to deal with these guys it got my attention.  Here are my two favorite ones from the article:

Source: Top 10 ways to deal with the Internet’s biggest morons – Digital Life.

angry 1Learn to argue without bringing out the worst in people Sometimes you just can’t help yourself, and you get into an argument with someone on the internet. As bad an idea as this is, there are some things you can do to avoid coming off as a troll (and thus avoid bringing out the troll in everyone else). You can also try and sound like you know what you’re talking about even when you don’t, but on the internet, that’s a recipe for disaster, and you’ll lose an already impossible-to-win argument. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, be sure to read up on how to get out of an argument with an irrational person. You’ll need it.   

Just stop caring about trolls and get on with your life The absolute best way to avoid the leagues of morons on the internet — particularly the troll variety — is to just ignore them. They aren’t attacking you, they’re attacking boredom, and they’re hardly worth the energy of even engaging, particularly because that’s exactly what they want. If you get locked in, you can weasel your way out with dignity, but the more you realize they aren’t worth the effort, the happier you’ll be.

I try to treat everyone who comments on my posts with a degree of respect. I try to treat them better than they sometimes treat me. But, as the words above say many trollers are simply there in order to raise my ire. They are just bored people with a big chip on their shoulder for this or that reason. They get excited by trying to shock others with their hateful words.  You can see them at the bottom of most news articles on the web. These are the type of people who are not worthy of any of my time or my blog space. I can’t understand why the various news sources even allow this sort of stuff?

But there are those who put some thoughtfulness  into their comments and seem to really have an opposing view. I do enjoy them when they can keep it civil and respectful.  As the article says the biggest morons need to be summarily dismissed but don’t throw out everyone who might disagree with what you have to say. You might just learn something from them…. and they from you……