Stephen Hawking the legendary physicist once said “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious”
You see I love vacations, I know we all do. I mean who doesn’t love the sun, the sandy beaches, the blue sea and all the other fun stuff. But there is another part of my vacation that I equally cherish and perhaps even more than the fun stuff. It is the serenity of early mornings and the tranquillity of late nights. For me, the quietude presents a time of solitude. A period for reflection and if you like — meditation.
And all through last week, I had been reflecting on what could have been and planning for what could be as we prepare to start relaxing the lockdown. One night, while I was listening to a podcast, the quote from Stephen Hawkings hit me like a ton of bricks. Why? Because I was sitting out in the backyard and staring at the sky at the time. And here I am being reminded about the curiosity in doing exactly just that. It was also timely as part of my planning was about reducing my media consumption.
So I started thinking of how to improve my curiosity. I knew it will involve something deeper than light-hearted social media chit-chat. I didn’t have to think long. Curiosity is wanting to know more, about learning. And for me that always included reading, writing and thinking. I was doing pretty okay with the first. Not that I was reading 100 books annually but thanks to Amazon audible I could get close to 30 and sometimes even 40. But I was neither writing nor thinking enough.
That was how I decided to start a blog. I figured that if I could elicit discourse through my writing on topical issues I would have succeeded in creating an online version of Jurgen Habermas’ Public Sphere. What better way is there to learn than to do so together? So here we are!
Updated: Even when I was writing weekly for Daily Times, I still thought it was inadequate. I felt I wasn’t writing enough. The reason is simple. In opinion articles, I usually deploy time-consuming media and communication research skills to ensure my message is succinct and accurate. However, in creative stories, I just flow naturally from memories and imagination.
So I decided to do more creative and scalable writing especially around self-development subjects like lifestyle, travel, fitness and minimalism. So there you have it. The progressive public sphere is modelled around these values.