Thursday, 5 January 2012

BFTFs Birthday : A post about personal pronouns

With the Building for the Future blog now about a year old, this might be a good time to write from a more personal perspective of what writing it has been like. . .

. . . and to help make things a bit more readable, BFTF is going to ditch the "BFTF" third person malarky for this post and just talk using "I" - which is a personl promoun (did you see what I did there, eh?)

I have to say that using "I" makes me feels like I'm wearing in a new jacket - I want to stretch the arms out and shrug a few times to get it to fit right.

While I'm doing that, I'll just explain why the blog is written in the third person - very simply, it's because "I" don't matter. Put another way, there is no particular reason why you should give a monkeys what "I" think. If a particular post can't make its case on the basis of fairness and common sense, then it probably doesn't deserve your attention.

Ok, I think I'm getting the hang of this "I" thing, so let's get crack on. . .

At number one on this ad-hoc list is that I have learnt that writing a blog is REALLY HARD WORK and takes A LOT OF TIME - and yet is strangely satisfying. I'm not sure whether the mental rush I get when completing a post quite compensates for the evening walks that I missed writing it. Probably not - Note to self - walk more.

BFTF needs to get a better balance of being here. . . .

. . . and being here

Here at number two is the realisation that when I am gathering information for a post and trying to construct an argument, I often find that my initial perspective was wrong, or at least very simplistic. Sometimes I send off an email to an organisation implying that they are doing something wrong and receive a reply that makes their position appear much more reasonable (this seems to happen particularly often when dealing with particuarly "political" issues).

The third thing I have learnt (and which I should have known already) is that, especially when dealing with community matters, there is no substitute for actually talking to people face to face rather than via email. This is partly due to the same effects as mentioned in number two.

The fourth thing I have learnt (and this list is in no particular order, because this item would be top of the list on any objective basis) is that there are a lot of people out there who can write a lot better than me. I wish I could write with elegance, humour and style - but too often I focus on the argument and not on the prose. I think that maybe I need to relax a little more. . . Maybe Having said that, I hope that some of the picture captions raise a giggle.

In at number five is that the there-in-black-and-white nature of posts makes me ask myself whether I am being fair to all sides. Am I practicing what I preach? In particular, I wonder whether I, and the Muslim community as a whole, apply the same standards to wrongdoing within Muslim countries/communities (especially against minorities) as they do to wrongdoings against Muslims in "the West".

New at number six is the fact that there are now sufficient old posts that a number of topics have been covered and I can now just post links to these when making a point in an email, on Facebook etc. As this was a major reason for starting the blog, this is something of a result.

Down at number seven is the huge sense of relief that I still have stuff to write about, indeed, the problem is writing all the posts that come to mind with sufficient quality - if I dare use that term. Inshallah, having too much to write about will continue to be an issue for the future.

A non-mover at number eight is, sadly, that getting Masjids to actually DO anything on help on any particular topic - even when they have already said that action is needed - is very very difficult and takes a long time. Bit of a heartbreaker this one really.

Straight in at number nine is that it is really hard to get significant numbers of page hits on the blog - this problem may well be related to number four.

And just holding on at number 10 is the hope that there are some people out there who find the blog to be, in some tiny way, a Good Thing.

So there you go pop-pickers. It's now time to put the "I" back in its velvet lined box where it can stay safe until its next use, inshallah, in about 12 months time.

Iamge sources : Here and Here

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