My son wrote a book yesterday.
It was about dogs. It was three pages long. He illustrated it himself with pencil drawings. He bound it himself with staples. It wasn’t easy for him. He had to concentrate. He had to ask me how to spell most of the words. The process was fraught with tears and many erasures. And even through the lens of a proud (and I mean really proud) mother, I could see that this book had a very limited audience.
But I couldn’t ignore the fact that while he had written a book, I had done nothing.
This offered a good illustration of the value of kinetic vs. potential energy and the opportunity cost of doing nothing. We all love to think about our potential, as if it is some real thing, that statue embedded in the block of marble. But metaphysics aside, if you never chip away at the block, all you are ever going to have is that block. Try to say something perfectly, and you are never going to say it at all.
But is reticence so bad? In a world so full of people who say anything or whatever comes to mind without regard for truth, accuracy, or good manners (e.g., Fox News, Members of Congress, and all those people who think my son isn’t wearing a coat because I want him to catch a cold), maybe it would be good if those of us, who were so inclined, just kept our opinions to ourselves. If only to reduce noise.
Probably. But most people who feel like they have something to say (i.e. anyone with a blog) can’t help but to try to say it. So it is best to just do it already. Stop worrying about being perfect and go.
That coupon is going to expire soon. As will my chance to come up with whatever it is I am going to do here. I don’t want to reflect on things 20 years from now, or a month from now, or even next week and say, “I didn’t quite get the chance to buy that underwear.”