I sometimes write long posts, as anyone knows who has visited my blog. I don’t just ramble endlessly because I like to hear my own voice. The motivation is that I’m in a constant state of reading and learning, and my blog is the main way I process my own thinking and give it form. I do want to communicate in a way that can be understood by others, but that is a secondary process that arises from the act of writing itself.
Still, I sometimes wonder who may actually be paying attention, assuming anyone is. Most of my posts don’t necessarily get a ton of views or comments. Most don’t get any comments at all, although others get more comments than I know what to do with. I’m not sure why I feel like I need to justify my rambling posts to anyone. I know the rule of blogging, if you want a popular following, is to keep it short. But that ain’t me. My mind rambles… always has done and probably always will. I like my rambling mind, even if others don’t appreciate it as much.
I get so excited by things I learn that I want to share them. Learning is just plain awesome.
Just these past few days I’ve come to understand some things I hadn’t really understood before. For my entire adult life, I’ve heard quotes of Thomas Jefferson writing about dissent such as watering the tree of liberty, but I never really understood it. In reading about Anti-Federalists, I suddenly grasp the larger context of what dissent meant back then. It is kind of strange that an aristocrat like Jefferson would advocate dissent when many of the other founding elites were less welcoming to dissent and its relationship to agrarianism. The pieces came together in my mind and now I better understand something I didn’t fully understand before.
That makes me happy. I’m a tiny bit less ignorant today than I was yesterday. Fighting ignorance one day at a time.
I wish I was better at communicating my excitement about learning. Sometimes it is hard to express why a particular issue or quote fascinates me so much or, as I like to say, gets caught in my craw. I try to connect my thinking about larger issues to a more grounded level, abstract issues to subjective experience, historical issues to present realities. But I suspect I fail more often than I succeed. My rambling mind is my Achille’s Heel. When I ramble, I can really ramble. My mind just goes on and on and on, one thought leading to a thousand other thoughts, one book leading to book after book. My mind vomits out quotes and thoughts, ideas and observations… worthy or not. They are just there in my head and they want to be free.
To most people, I suppose subjects like history are boring. I used to be like that when I was younger. No one was able to communicate to my younger self why history mattered. I was raised to appreciate education, but it took me to leave school before I could develop a genuine love of learning. I’d love to inspire more people toward such a curiosity-driven attitude. The world, past and present, really is an endlessly fascinating place.
Even so, the ignorance in the world sure can be frustrating at times. Ignorance is everywhere, including within myself. It is precisely because our ignorance is greater than our knowledge that one never has to worry about running out of things to learn. I sometimes want to devour the entire world with my mind. There is too much to know for too little time.