—Everything in quotes below is from Steve Pavlina. I’ve mentioned his site before. While I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, sometimes his words strike a chord with me. I don’t usually quote long passages. There are enough nuggets of interest hidden in the paragraphs below to interest someone else, too, I would htink.
“My life and my writing are intricately intertwined, such that it’s impossible to separate the two. When someone reads this web site, they’ll eventually come to know a great deal about me as a person. Usually this creates a skewed and inaccurate impression of who I am today because I change a lot over time – I’m not the same person I was last year – but it’s close enough. Getting to know me makes it easier for people to understand the context of what I write, which means that more value can be transferred in less time.
I’ve told many personal stories on this site, including my most painful and difficult experiences. I don’t do this to be gratuitous but rather because those stories help make a point – that no matter where you find yourself today, you always have the opportunity to grow in some small way, and no matter how small those changes are, they’re going to add up over time to create massive lifelong growth. That’s a lesson we all need to remember.”
If the stuff I’ve written on this site means I’ll never be able to run for a political office, I can live with that. I’m willing to write what is true for me, even if it goes against my social conditioning. Being honest is more important to me than being popular. But the irony is that because bold honesty is so rare among civilized humans, in the long run this may be the best traffic-building strategy of all.
People often warn me not to write things that might alienate a portion of my visitors. But somehow I keep doing the opposite and seeing traffic go up, not down. I don’t treat any subjects as taboo or sacred if they’re relevant to personal growth, and that includes diet and religion. It’s no secret that I’m a vegan ex-Catholic. Do I alienate people when I say that torturing and killing defenseless animals for food is wrong? Perhaps. But truth is truth. I happen to think it’s a bad idea to feed cows cement dust and bovine growth hormone, to pack live chickens into warehouses where the ammonia from their feces is strong enough to burn their skin off, and to feed 70% of our grain to livestock while tens of thousands of people die of hunger each day. I also think it’s a bad idea to pay people to perform these actions on my behalf. It really doesn’t matter to me that 999 people out of 1000 disagree with me. Your disagreement with me doesn’t change what went into producing your burger. It’s still a diseased, tortured, chemical-injected cow, one that was doomed to a very sad life because of a decision you made. And you’re still responsible for your role in that cow’s suffering whether you like it or not.
That last paragraph is a good example of the kind of stuff I write that makes people want to put me in a cage, inject me with hormones, and feed me cement dust. It wouldn’t surprise me terribly if that ends up being my fate.
I write what is true for me, regardless of public opinion. Sometimes I’m in the majority; sometimes I’m not. I’m fully aware that some of my opinions are unpopular, and I’m absolutely fine with that. What I’m not fine with is putting truth to a vote.
I take the time to form my own opinions instead of simply regurgitating what I was taught as a child. And I’m also well aware that there are people spending billions of dollars to make you think that a burger is not a very sad, diseased, tortured, chemical-injected cow. But I’m going to keep writing to help you remain aware of things like that, even though you may hate me for it. That defensiveness eventually leads to doubt, which leads to change and growth, so it’s perfectly fine. I’m good at dealing with defensiveness.
I don’t worry too much about hurting people’s feelings. Hurt feelings are a step in the right direction for many people. If I’m able to offend you so easily, to me that means you already recognize some truth in what I’ve written, but you aren’t ready to face it consciously yet. If you read something from me that provokes an emotional reaction, then a seed has already been planted. In other words, it’s already too late for you .
My goal isn’t to convince anyone of anything in particular. I’m not an animal rights activist, and I don’t have a religion to promote. My goal is to awaken people to living more consciously. This requires raising people’s awareness across all facets of their lives, so they can make the big decisions for themselves. It requires breaking social conditioning and replacing it with conscious awareness and intention. That’s a big job, but someone has to do it. And if I don’t do it, then I have to admit I’m just part of the problem like all the other hibernating bears.”