Discretion, Restraint, and Decorum

countingWell, before I started writing for Lent, it had been some time since I was actually using WordPress for blogging.  Well, I posted some articles for some friends about a game we play in a blog I created for sharing that information.  But it has been a while since I examined the depth of the statistics.  As time goes on, and as I’m using the site more, I’m remembering more of how to check on statistics.  Today, I recalled how to view the individual statistics for each post that I put out there, which is really cool as it gives me the ability to see what posts get viewed the most (and therefore are supposedly more resonating) and which are less interesting.

The amazing thing I discovered is that, if my site statistics are being recorded properly, no one has read my blog since Sunday.  This coincides with two events.  First, I quit posting a link to my blog on Facebook (but I did warn my readers that I was doing this).  And second, Sunday was the day I forgot to post, meaning people reading Saturday’s post on Sunday never saw another one.  So, it appears as though I have no readers.  That’s OK.  It is refreshing (for lack of a better word) to discover that I am not as interesting or compelling a writer as I had hoped.  It isn’t the greatest feeling in the world, but it is one of those things that is good to know.  (And by the way, I mean no accusation, judgement, or condemnation toward anyone.  I don’t wish to have guilty readers, and I certainly don’t intend to lay guilt at anyone’s feet.)

One thing that a lack of readers does for me, though, is that it gives me a feeling of freedom.  Well, more of a feeling of freedom than I’ve had otherwise.  We often follow certain rules of decorum.  Restraint, discretion, they sometimes prevent us from simply blurting out our thoughts.  We call it maturity, sometimes.  After all the immature kid spouts out everything that crosses their mind, the civilized, mature adult recognized when to speak and when to shut up.  The adult exercises the discretion and restraint we expect.  I’ve actually done this twice today, in fact.

We had an issue come up at work.  I’m on-call, so it is my job to research into this issue and figure out what’s going on and how to fix it.  The issue arose at three minutes until noon while I was doing lunchtime activities with some friends.  I waited five minutes to see if someone from our sister IT facility (in a different time zone) was going to check on this (as they sometimes will during working hours).  No dice, so I left my friends and headed down to my desk, a little frustrated.  By the time I made it down the stairs and to my desk (a mere eleven minutes after the call), the team leader from the other facility had responded to the initial call and sent a request to another support group for help.

Now, while I appreciate the fact that he looked into it, it was very annoying that he didn’t say so before I had to interrupt my lunch time with my friends.  And yes, I’ll agree, that is a bit petty.  But it gets worse.  I sent him an email after about five minutes, thanking him for his help and wondering whether I would need to do any cleanup or if the system would recover once the other group was done.  Then ten to fifteen minutes after the first email, I sent another request asking for more information about how he had uncovered the problem.  (We have a support Wiki, and this particular error was not one I was familiar with, nor was it on the Wiki.)  I still have not heard from him as of the time this post was published.  (I’ll pause while you go check the published date-time.)

Yeah, so in addition to not reporting that he was looking into this, he has yet to give me any information about how he discovered the problem.  Remember, now… he uncovered the problem and sent the email to the other group in eleven minutes or less from the time the original error was reported.  Eleven minutes or less and he can’t reply to my email for the next three hours?  (Oh, and in case you were wondering the issue was resolved within the first hour and the system did indeed clean itself up.)  I complained to my boss briefly (only because it tied in with other issues I’ve been having at work), but other than that, I haven’t (and probably wont) say anything.

The second incident was more simplistic.  Someone (a preacher who is respected by some of my family members) posted a statement on Facebook that seemed opposed to the belief system he claims to follow.  (For those interested, he claims to be Reformed, but the statement was a very Wesleyan/Armenian quote.)  Normally I wouldn’t even bother with this, after all, how often does someone post something either stupid or that I disagree with on Facebook?  Yeah.  Given that this man is respected by some family members, and given this is not the first time he has posted something that was not quite right (at least as far as Reformed Theology), I really wanted to reply, if for nothing else, at least to hopefully get my family members thinking along the lines that he may not believe what he claims to believe.

And I don’t want to give anyone a misunderstanding.  This man is free to believe as he wishes.  Were he more open to discussion, I would be willing to offer him thoughts and discussion where we disagreed, but honestly, the person (much less preacher) who is willing to consider with an open mind that their beliefs are incorrect is a rare find indeed.  No, my primary concern with disagreeing with this man, or even just posting a subtle question to encourage thinking, was solely about my family members who venerate his thoughts under (what I believe to be) false premises.

So, discretion and restraint won the day.  Or maybe it was cowardice.  I’m not sure which it was, but I didn’t say anything.  Maybe I should be glad that I have restraint and discretion.  Maybe I should be ashamed of my cowardice and pray for boldness.  Maybe it just doesn’t matter anyway.




One Response to “Discretion, Restraint, and Decorum”

  1. PBW Says:

    You might be surprised!

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