Fun ride last night. Not as fast as I was hoping due to the wind, but it was a good test of Bella‘s new wheel-set. They performed well and $500 later, they’re a legit upgrade. Eventually these wheels will get passed on to another bike, and she’ll be fitted with her first carbon rims, but I have some financial catchin’ up to do first.

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In his book, Upheaval (2019), author Jared Diamond suggests honest self-appraisal is the single most important mechanism for a nation in crisis to successfully resurrect itself. Since the leadership of my nation is making no attempt to do this, I’m sort of taking it on myself. I’ve spent a lot of time recently looking at my social weaknesses and examining how I can improve on them.

I don’t care who you are and what your worldview is, there will never be a better time than right now for some honest self-appraisal.
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First on the list for me has been taking inventory of my prejudices. It’s not been an easy exercise. It’s important though, that I this considering the current social climate. It’s not just my racial prejudices I’ve been exploring either, but those that have to do with physical appearance, age, geography, and all the demographic lines we use to separate ourselves from them, politics included.

In exploring my prejudices, or any weakness for that matter, it’s important not to rationalize my prejudices away. No excuses. I won’t minimize them either, by disguising them as biases, or for being so-called evolutionary defenses that occur naturally in my species. Simply put, my prejudices have been learned behaviors since my earliest days and have been practiced and consistently reaffirmed without much regard for their impact on the people I’ve judged so freely.

One exercise I’ve been using has been to hit the pause button on my brain frequently throughout each day and when engaged with others. Whether it’s with a service employee, a client, a neighbor, but in particular with passing strangers, it’s amazing how quick I am to judge anyone based on their appearance, and how willing I am to not second-guess myself in those snap judgments.
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We’re marching for a lot of things these days — BLM, LBGT rights, proper context and subsequent application of our questionable past, environmental concerns and so-on. I haven’t participated in any of these marches.

My march though, and the one I’m encouraging everyone to take, is a march on the road to honest self-appraisal. It’s a nasty road with lots of hazards and, at least in my case, and a very long one. It’s also a place our leaders are never going to take us.

This is what I think about when I ride…

Yesterday’s Ride…

Bike: Bella
29 miles
1,300’ climbing
15.6 mph avg
1,600 calories
Yesterday’s earworm: Girlfriend, by Matthew Sweet

6 thoughts on “Self-Reckoning…

  1. Thanks for the reminder of the self appraisal. It’s something we should all do to unlearn things we have picked up from our environment. Look to our commonality and build our relationships on that. Ethnicity doesn’t matter our commonality as a nation does. A smile and a wave is a great way to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A smile and a wave — love that! And I agree it is a great way and probably the best way to start.

      As always Cliff, thank you very much for taking the time. Hoping all is well in Stacheville…

      Like

  2. Appreciate your words timing could not have been any better for me. I’m not ashamed to say, I just got off the phone with my therapist and psychiatrist . They reminded me to not be so hard on myself to show some grace.
    We all need to hit the pause button to stop look and listen .🙏🏼❣️
    Thank you again Roy I appreciate you👊🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hang in there my brother! If you need advice on how to be hard on yourself, you know where to find me.

      I’m reminded of the day Chelsea asked me “dad why are you so hard on yourself…?“

      The only thing I could say was, somebody has to be…

      Like

  3. But I don’t wanna!
    😉

    It is real hard to do when you feel threatened in some way….real or imagined. I have to say that I am puzzled at what people are eager to hold onto. And I will start with that with me. Thanks for the reminder.
    Just remember…there ARE biological differences in people which DO contribute to differences in expectations and culture. For me, it is one of the best things about people.
    So many of us are so hard on ourselves. We have to stop, step back, and ask ourselves ‘What would have you done differently and where would that have gotten you?’
    Sometimes the answers surprise you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Judy. A great observation. I’ve been obsessing lately that 75,000 years ago, we were reduced to a breeding population of roughly 1200 to 1500 people. That our species almost went extinct, and through that small population size, we developed such great diversity over time. Establishing defenses was a huge part of that evolution.

      Always on my mind…

      Like

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