I sort of keep this to myself, mostly, but I can’t tell you how often I look around at my fellow bloggers here on FreethoughtBlogs and wonder “What the hell am I doing here? What have I ever done to deserve to be in this company?”
I even felt some of it at Reason Rally, as I watched person after person stand on the podium and say (or sing) fantastic things. When I walked around the corner that morning and first saw the Rally, I threw up my arms and said “My People!” I even know some of the people who spoke; I co-blog with a couple of them. But there were still moments when I felt unworthy. As if I hadn’t done enough to deserve to be there.
Perfect example of the feeling: I was talking to Camels With Hammers’ Dan Fincke recently about ex-Muslim activist Taslima Nasrin, who had to flee her own country in 1994, and who faces death on a daily basis for her feminism and her criticism of Islam.
Here’s something she said at Reason Rally: “I will continue my fight until I die.” — a statement that was both a promise of ongoing action on her part, and the naked recognition that somewhere out there was the waiting certainty of murder.
“Where do you find courage like that?” I wondered. “How do you get to be that brave?”
I mean, I want to make a difference in the world, but if I ask myself “Am I willing to die for it?” the answer is always “Uh, gee … ” Even though I think the larger battle, taking the part of Reason in an unreasoning world, is a matter of life and death for all of us, even those of us who’ve felt fairly safe so far, and that the death-threat moment might be coming up fast.
Anyway, take it as given that when I read my co-bloggers’ writing, I often think “This is fantastic!” but I also sometimes hear this little whisper in the back of my head: “You don’t deserve to be here. Nothing you’ve done is this good.”
If you’re wondering where I’m going with this, how I came to think it this morning, click over and read When the rug is pulled at Crommunist Manifesto.
There just ain’t no words.