I like to think. Doesn't everyone? I don't mean, of course, the "shall I have pizza with or without anchovies" variety of thought which, although useful, doesn't contribute much to improvement of the human race or the world in which we live, unless of course a growing girth is considered somehow universally beneficial. I mean more the 'whys' of life: why are we here, why do things work the way they do, and why are things as complicated as they are.
The problem is that, possessed of a tiny brain, my head hurts when I think too much. I have no satisfactory 'one-fits-all' solutions for the ills of the world. In fact, save for certain barbarian behaviours that I can condemn without much thought, I recognize that we are all different, that that is not a bad thing, and that a bit of chaos and turmoil in our lives is what keeps us sharp and focused. I have a secret for you: When I am sitting in my office, feet on my desk, staring off into space, I am just as likely to be trying to estimate Katherine Heigl's cup size as in deciphering the meaning of life. I am a warm-blooded human male, after all!
Some human beings, under certain conditions and in certain parts of the world, have the luxury of being able to think frivolous thoughts. Others, perhaps the overwhelming majority, have little time available to think of much else than how to make it through another back-breaking and gruelling day of debilitating labour. Those of us who have the luxury of time, perhaps the most precious commodity in the universe, can elect to spend it in pursuit of the last great truths. We could also, of course, spend it daydreaming about some improbable conquest or discovery. I don't think that every waking moment should be spent in search of truth and wisdom, but a few moments per day sure seems reasonable.
I have known some very bright people over the years, and I have often sat, quietly and respectfully, while others have expounded on topics ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. I learned things in this fashion that I might otherwise have never known. It is with this same approach that I read blogs. Some are funny, some are silly, some have an incredible insight into the world. I learn from and am entertained by them all.
I was surprised to discover that Chani, of the Thailand Gal blog, had awarded me the 'thinking blogger' award. Click on the graphic below to read all about it.
The meme asks that we in turn honour others in similar fashion. I don't want to 'tag' anyone who doesn't wish to carry on the meme, but I will mention five blogs and bloggers who I find influential and thoughtful. I read many more blogs than I have on my blogroll, so I will restrict my list to ones that already here and known to my friends and readers. As usual, the creation of any list which is a subset of another, means that something or someone, or in this case a bunch of someones, are going to be left out. I visit every blog on my blogroll, but there are some that challenge me, either with a worldview much different from mine, or with points of view that will strike a magical chord with me one day and be discordant with my own perceptions on another. Those, I'm sure, would certainly qualify for a 'thinking blogger' award.
In alphabetical order:
C O A H T R: Penny amazes me. She is a human dynamo. She has a mind beyond her years and her chronicles of the ups and downs in her life can be poignant, funny, insightful, but never boring. Whether presenting her raw self in prose or poetry, she makes me think.
Dolce Bellezza: Bellezza writes a lot about books, and I am afraid that I skip some of those posts because at this point in my life I don't have time to read as much as I would like. The posts of hers that interest me most are those that I like to think of as 'slice of life' posts. Bellezza has a calm, gentle and (I think) mischievous nature that guides her through the inevitable frustrations that we all face, and thereby sets a great example for an impatient curmudgeon like me to follow.
One Plus Two: Were Jen and I both to follow the stereotypes associated to the labels we wear, we would likely avoid interacting with each other in any meaningful way. People who seek collective, societal, solutions to human misery (Jen) tend to mistrust those who see every human problem as something to be solved by individuals interacting with each other (me.) Jen is a very bright individual and I am constantly challenged by her. Our solutions to problems around us might differ, but our compassion for our fellow man is the same.
Sylvain Duford: Sylvain is one of several members of my blogroll that I have actually met. We disagree on some things but agree, I think, on many more. I find his passion and intelligence stimulating. Sit us both down with a bottle of wine, introduce religion and climate into the conversation, then get back out of the way. There is going to be very lively discourse and fun for all.
Thailand Gal: Chani's posts are, I think, similar to mine in that they meander about, touching on things large and small, finally settling on some point or points for the reader to consider at his or her leisure. Her writing has heft and experience behind it, but is also whimsical and thoughtful. Her company would, I think, be as delightful in person as it is here in the blogosphere.
Under the Radar: Mark writes way too few posts. I wish he would write more because he is a man with passion and a very interesting history. He is a self-made man, someone who worked for me years ago and who has since gone into business for himself and become very successful. He overcame every problem that dared get in his way and I love to read what little he shares with us.
Vox Day: Vox Day (real name Theodore Beale) is a man many people love to hate. He is both a Christian and a Libertarian, a combination that gives many people two reasons to discount anything he thinks or says. I certainly don't agree with Day on everything, but I do enjoy reading his posts. He is a bit too strident sometimes, a bit too caustic, a bit too sarcastic, but in fairness his vitriol is often reserved for those who dare bait him. He has a weekly column at World Net Daily that causes apoplexy in certain quarters. The interaction between Day and his detractors is entertaining.
There. How's that? What? There are more than five 'thinking blogger' mentions above? Oh, did I forget to mention that I am mathematically challenged and can't count? Oh well.
Good reading, everyone!