I used to think taking one position and running with it was bad. I thought instead it would be better to be contemplative and slow. To present both sides of an argument and reason cautiously toward some tentative position. I used to get annoyed when people would seem so eager to follow decisive and extreme leaders more readily than those who were more moderate. Now Iím not so sure.  

 

Suppose someone delivers a slow, measured speech. It accommodates different points of view. It is cautious, meticulous, complex. But can it be trusted? The more reasonable it sounds, the more likely it is to be a mere summarization of the ideas of others. This can be helpful, but it is not original or strong. If such speech is in fact sincere then it reflects an ambivalent or conflicted mind, which is in some ways as useless as a driven mind is dangerous. If someone takes a strong jab at something, in his excitement he may mix words or go too far or forget a fact. But, in spite of all, his speech is at least true to itself, to its inspiration.

 

I used to think that with argument and reason, disparate points of view could be reconciled into unified, more balanced views. But could it not be there are no sums of higher truth, but only a mix of singular points of view, and consequences?

 

Why else would history repeat itself so perfectly?

 

 

July 2007