I, as I have recently realized, am an arrogant fuck. I have always been to some degree been aware of this, but it always seemed easy to justify before. I am not pleased with this revelation about myself, especially as I have always had a certain impatience with people I perceive as condescending. But, as I look over the personal work I have written over the course of the last few years it seems that too often my written work becomes a bit of a lecture.
When I am in person with someone, I am usually somewhat reserved and I try to see empathize and see both sides of the issue, but I think that means I just end up being more arrogant about my conclusions. Perhaps that is justified, perhaps not.
When I did the Nonfiction Workshop (the undergraduate one, nothing to get too excited about) at UofI, my instructor did not like how my personal essays tended to sound preachy as if I was “teaching” someone. I did not see it that way, I thought I was teaching myself and by writing and sharing that process letting others learn from my mistakes. But, others in the workshop thought there were moments where I used too much judgement as well.
I am trying to be better though, and remember to keep that openness in my heart and mind. Terry Dobson, a famous Aikidoka once said in his book It’s A Lot Like Dancing, “You keep getting into fights because you are certain that you are right. So, stop always thinking you are right!”