A confession

I have a confession to make today--a confession about the manner in which I have conducted myself in my writings till now, here on Karnatique, as well as elsewhere in Kannada as well as English.

Unknowingly, I have been harsh to people with opposing viewpoints, whether they're living or dead. In my writings till now, I have not even come close to what I've learnt is the ideal way of contradicting opposing viewpoints. You will notice an improvement moving from my earlier articles to newer ones, but that does not remove the necessity for this confession.

Fact is, I have learnt some of the greatest lessons in my life from the people whom I have opposed philosophically (over one subject or another). In my mind, I have always held them in high esteem for what they've taught me through their lives and works. But what pains me today, as I review my own writings, is that my language has not necessarily shown that gratitude, except, perhaps, in the recent case of Rabindranath Tagore.

I've tired to find the origin of this harshness in me, but I don't completely understand it yet. It could be my childhood, it could be my surroundings. It could be that my busy life makes me so impatient that I don't see any option but to make the most fierceful statements against philosophical opponents in the shortest period of time. That could have easily drifted to harsh language. Behaviors of peer bloggers and colleagues could have catalyzed my fall. It could also be that plain ignorance speaks in such language. My mind could have settled on harsh language as a means of support for my arguments! Whatever the reason, the fact remains that I have erred.

But this is where the role of the teacher comes in. Over the years, I have learnt extensively from great people, living and dead, and from all over the world. And this list includes each and every person I've had to oppose in my writings. I have been humbled by the unmistakable grace with which all of them have opposed contradicting viewpoints in their writings and speeches. Honest people about to be hanged by colonial governments have displayed better grace than I have. They have all collectively taught me how to reform myself. It is a difficult transformation that I'm going through, but I will not rest until that transformation happens.

If you happen to read my earlier writings where I'm opposed to someone's views on a particular topic, please keep in mind that I might have been unknowingly too harsh to that person, and also that I'm not 100% opposed to everything they have ever said. Let not that harshness influence your judgment about the topic at hand, or enter you.

And yes, none of this means that I am withdrawing any of my philosophical positions about topics where I have opposed one or the other person. Nor do I mean to say that I will not withdraw them if need be.

3 comments:

shanks said...

I am so glad about your change in attitude (it never was a problem at least to me.. being too young in this blog and in my postings)

I also suggest that please never take a stand just because it is close to your heart. Write your opinion (I love reading your postings) but never sit in judgement. Let us (readers via comments) do that according to our perception and understanding.

All the beat keep blogging

thed said...
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thed said...
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