Sunday, January 07, 2007
Retiring at age 21
For awhile I have contemplated writing this column but haven’t had the full sensibility to do it yet. I began submitting columns online at age seventeen, back in the year 2002. I began the process with the hubris of a budding pundit and kept the habit until now, with a declining sense of the value of this kind of writing. Now I am twenty-one and about 21 percent half-educated.
I now know at least this: I don’t know enough to be weekly offering my opinions as though possessed of some eminence. There is a thousand times more sense in one of Seneca’s ancient moral sketches or Joseph Addison’s essays three hundred years ago than in the freshest columns I could put forth on any topic. Wisdom is better nurtured in the memorization of Solomon’s Proverbs than the attempt to produce new proverbs for the age of YouTube and iPod. The Bible is better for the soul than the morning newspaper.
Liberals are the ambitious ones by nature; I think I have a liberal nature. A sense of proportion that results from education and experience moderates opinions and makes a mind conservative. Not that I wasn’t politically conservative at age seventeen when I started on this present course, but it was conservatism wild and liberal.
Regret is not the word for lessons learned. I have learned that punditry, for all of its good sense every now and then, is not my calling. .................
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Labels: Hans Zeiger