Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Defining Self

At Pithy Banter, I was asked in a comment to do some defining.

I have a hard time defining myself because I have more questions about life than I do answers.

That doesn't mean that I'm so open-minded that my brain has fallen out, though. I realize that I embody fairly easily understood characteristics as well.

Here are a few:

1) I tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. However, my socially liberal leanings have become more moderate in the past few years.

2) I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but I vote for more Dems than Repubs.

3) I am more interested in good reasoning and sound judgment than I am in party politics or philosophical assignment.

4) I'm highly educated.

5) While I and others consider me intelligent, I constantly strive to be smart. There's a big difference.

6) I'm an attorney. But I don't always like defining myself as one. I'm also a journalist, a photographer, a drummer. Most importantly, a husband, a father, a first son. I like science and technical details. I like tools.

7) I grew up in the United Methodist church, which overall is more liberal than, say, the Southern Baptist church, or Presbyterianism, but has its own liberal/conservative divide. (Hence, the internal fight over whether gays can preach has been raging for some time.)

8) I struggled between boredom and utter transfixion in my early years in church. Today, I don't often go, but am interested in finding a place where my intellectual investigations are welcome, and the singing is not just mediocre.

9) To be truly convinced of anything important, both my head and my heart must be in unison convinced.

10) I am mostly comfortable with my Christian upbringing but also constantly struggle with my faith and with some of the tenets (at least what some Christians consider tenets) of Christianity. I am curious, skeptical, full of questions, and hard to please.

11) That said, I believe in God and His way (whatever that might be), and strive to better understand and apply the tenets of Christianity. I also have many Jewish friends whose varying degrees of genuine interest in spirituality I admire and respect. And I very much respect and hold in high esteem those who are committed to doing good in the world.

12) I have severe and incredibly lucid moments of doubt.

13) Luckily, I suppose, those are balanced by moments that I comprehend as filled with God, brought on by the love of my wife and daughter, the love I feel for others, the spirit and company of family and friends, the kindness of strangers, the witness of mercy and compassion and humility, acts of incredible justice, and being outside: fishing, in the mountains, camping, breathing fresh air, watching birds, and generally loving the complex, always intriguing beauty of nature.


Blogger Mark said...

Yeah I can see why doubt would creep in. If one is thinking it should, often.

"I have a master's in science/environmental journalism"

What's that involve?

8:58 PM  
Blogger The Accipiter said...

2 years' hands-on journalism classes with half the time focused on science and environmental subjects. The emphasis is on understanding and translating the technical aspects for the everyday reader. Check out the University of Colorado's Center for Environmental Journalism:

11:02 PM  
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