There is a fine line to walk when talking or writing to other people. Is what I am saying constructive criticism or arrogance? It is wisdom or is it personal opinion? Is it the truth or is it simply my application of what I believe to be true?
Blogging also brings its own challenges. When speaking to someone, you see their immediate reactions to what you have to say. And, most often, they respond with words of their own. But when I write, unless someone responds with a comment, I have no idea what the individual reaction is.
Another difficulty with blogging, especially the types of posts I write, is that each post must contain a beginning, a middle and an end. An entire thought has to be presented, expressed, and brought to a conclusion. But this can be hard to do when one thought is connected to another thought, and that other thought is connected to still another thought.
My wife gently informed me that some of my writing might come across as rather arrogant. That I have all the answers. That it can come across as me simply ranting and shouting my opinion to the world. And that I think whoever doesn’t agree with me must be stupid, or at least wrong. I’ve never been very good at social etiquette so I have to defer to her input on matters like this.
But I have even noticed it myself (my coming across as a know-it-all), particularly in a particular post that has gotten a large number of views and an unusually large number of comments. I find myself defending a point that I made and as I try to defend it I feel like I am coming across as someone who isn’t willing to see the other point of view. Or that my answer is correct in any and all circumstances.
But I know that not to be the case. I believe there are absolutes. I believe there are certainly black and white issues in this world we live in. But, aside from those absolutes, I believe there are many paths that one can take. There are many ways that people can live and choices that they can make. And the choices that are “right” for me may not necessarily be “right” for you.
Let me give you an example to show what I am talking about here. I don’t believe that taking out a car loan is a good idea. I don’t think that it is the financially wise or prudent thing to do. I think I have the evidence to back up and
defend my belief. And I will argue and defend that belief when a friend or family member wants to buy a car with a car payment.
I believe that I am “right” and they are “wrong”, and I will tell them that. However, in the end, it isn’t my life and so if they chose to go that route, there is nothing I can do to stop them. And moreover, it isn’t going to actually affect my life one way or the other. (“Right” in this instance means financially wise and “wrong” means financially unwise.)
I also know that millions of families across this country and the world use car loans to purchase their vehicles. And most of them will turn out just fine. Some of the people who finance their cars are worth millions of dollars and could easily purchase their cars outright. So would I say that their decision is an unwise choice? No, I wouldn’t. Because, in their situation, it affects their monetary situation about as much as a cup of coffee affects mine.
The Challenge for Me
So the challenge for me is to present my way of thinking and challenge my readers to think differently about their lives. I need to learn to express what I believe and why I believe it but I need to do this in a way that doesn’t come across as insulting or arrogant.
I apologize if I personally have offended you. The topic of finances and money is a personal subject. That means it can be very touchy and emotional.
I think many people have incorrect attitudes toward money. This is oftentimes at no fault of their own. It is what they were taught. It is what the world wants them to think about money.
The problem is that most people suffer unnecessarily because of their understanding of money, of what is normal, and of what is financially smart.
My goal with this blog is to instruct, to challenge, and to provide real-life examples. I don’t need you to agree with me. I’m not even asking that you agree with me. My wish is that people will make their choices intentionally. I don’t want them to just go through life doing whatever culture/family/self is telling them to do.
Here’s another example from my own life. I regularly follow and listen to Dave Ramsey. I would recommend that everybody follow the “baby steps” that he outlines. I would even recommend that they do exactly as he says to do. But personally, I don’t do everything he says. I have used debt extensively to buy real estate. I have used a line of credit on my residence to pay towards the purchase and repair of a rental property.
Dave Ramsey would say that I am wrong. And I’m ok with that. And I’m still ok with wholeheartedly recommending that people doing everything he teaches. I understand his methods, why he believes the way he does, and what the benefits are to his methods. With that understanding, I intentionally choose to go a slightly different direction on some of the financial choices that I make.
But I am not just going along making these choices because that is what everybody else is doing. I am making these choices because, to the best of my abilities, I have weighed the positives and negatives and chosen the path that I think it most wise.
My Challenge For You
That is what I am asking of you. Make your choices. Live your life. But do it intentionally. Let this blog be an avenue that challenges the status quo. Let my thoughts and articles challenge what you may consider “normal”. And feel free to challenge me back. You can do this in a comment or you can do this by sending me a direct message.