What Talking To Yourself Is Good For

Tumultuous times produce extreme diagnoses from some quarters. I’m not given to extremes. I value nuance and evidence and accuracy. Extreme makes my stomach hurt.

But I am forcing myself to sit with the extreme. I am finding myself in settings where the assessment of what is going on in the world is systematic rather than episodic, that is, where explanations point to corrupt systems before they blame more measurable causes. My stomach . . .

I’m sitting with it because I don’t want to and because those explanations are generally coming from people a generation younger than I, and also because I can sense in myself, already, the impulse to correct the contributions of the inexperienced, if only because I recognize an earlier version of myself in them and because it feels like there is a lot at stake in being wrong about these things.

I am struggling in these days to listen more and explain less. There is a constant wrestling match playing out in my head. Talking to myself helps.

This is how we grow, right?