Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reflections on a Past – Part III: me today!

Continuing my series of "reflections on a Past," here I go.

Now I’m in the middle. Or at least something that I consider the middle (middle path? Not on either extreme? But then again, who’s not in the middle, right?). Now, I know how to express my disagreements respectfully and carefully. Now, I take my time responding to challenges directed at me. I don’t reply instantly or with that pounding heart that stabs me at the speed of light. Now I know when to ignore someone who I don’t think will understand my point, or someone whom I don’t feel like I can express myself to clearly and who will thus misunderstand my point – and thereby waste my time and stamina.  Now, when I hear a different perspective, I see it as another excellent opportunity to learn something new and to share my own view with someone else and hopefully teach someone something (like I said in the earlier post, in the past, I always saw myself as the “teacher,” rarely as the student, and it was certainly seldom both ways!) It is not that I don’t believe in myself or see myself as knowledgeable in any matter. On the contrary, I’m far more knowledgeable about many, many things today than I could claim even a year ago. But it is merely that I have learned that everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher. No matter how much I disagree with someone, I know that there is something I can learn from that person. It does not have to be about the topic necessarily; it could be about life, about the person, about myself, about my surroundings. And sometimes, knowledge about our surroundings, about ourselves, about others is far more important to possess than knowledge about a specific topic. It does not matter how much expertise a person can claim about any topic or topics if they cannot communicate it effectively (e.g., know and respect their audience) or respectfully, or if they lack any understanding of their society.

Do I regret my aggressive nature in online discussions back then? No, absolutely not.
Do I laugh at myself? Oh, yes – yes, I do! All the time. My old self makes me smile quite often, in fact. God, have I always been passionate about my views! I’m just as passionate about my views on the same topics and many new ones, but it’s only that today, I express that passion very differently.
Did I learn from my old self? Absolutely. I don’t think I’d be anywhere close to where I am today had I not been what I was like back then. All the people I’ve ever engaged myself in discussions with (all of them, with no exceptions) have contributed to the self I am today. My old self is the reason I know how to respond to aggressive debaters today, not looking down upon them because I know how important their beliefs -- and the styles they hold discussions in -- are to them, and knowing when to keep quiet, when to step back, when to speak.
If I were to go back in my past, would I change that part of my life? Oh my God, no! Certainly not. I’d do those same things over and over again because I know what it led me to, and I love it.


- Reflections on a Past - Part I (a): back then
- Reflections on a Past - Part I (b): the effects


  1. Heh, I recognize a lot of what you're saying in myself. It's probably a good thing we didn't meet earlier, we would've clashed something mightily ;)

  2. :D I'm so surprised that so many people (Muslim women) agreed with me back then! I mean, I was an active blogger on Yahoo! 360 (non-existent today; was closed in July 2009, sadly), and I had a laaaaaarge readership, many loyal readers and a strong Muslim community there. Sadly, not one of those people disagreed with me or attempted to share a different perspective. (The only time there'd be disagreements was when I'd say something they thought was "too liberal.") It now makes perfect sense why several of the females there are now ex-Muslim.


Dare to opine :)

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