June 2nd, 2003

Insight by Night

I've just returned from a delightful evening full of superb poetry shared with a friend. Perhaps poetry engenders mental acuity, perhaps I've just finally ruminated enough and it was ready, but here's tonight's insight:

I seem to have somehow turned people's discourse (style of discourse, if you don't wish to objectify 'discourse') into a moral issue, or at least to have promoted it to similar status. As most of you know, I am rather serious about morals, and it is easy to lose my respect through what I perceive to be moral faults. But somehow, I just now realize, there are people, friends and acquaintances, whose discourse I disapprove of to some extent, and who consequently pay a price in "my book" in terms of respect.

That's a terrible thing, I think. I'm not sure it's terrible to disrespect certain kinds of discourse -- until now I've been fairly confident that it isn't terrible -- but given that I do respect these people, based on many qualities I find in them, it seems wrong to transmute disrespect for their discourse into disrespect for their persons. I know people who, for instance, regularly pirate music -- an act I vehemently disapprove of -- and while I think this act of theirs is despicable, and occasionally strike up an argument about it, I do manage to keep it from staining their other qualities in my mind. But discourse, self-expression, both written and spoken, that I happen to disagree with or object to, somehow, sometimes (too often!), manages to seriously lower people's stock with me.

I don't think it's right. I shall strive to mend. In the meantime, and for injustice past, I sincerely apologize.
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