I am not saying that we should not strive to be the very best people and professionals we can be. This is not a call to "lean out." By all means, let's strive to be amazing, but let's also aspire to be more gentle with ourselves and with others.
Our society typically believes the individual who sequesters himself from the outside world is mad, while we laud individuals who erect social media shrines to themselves, enabling them with "likes" and "retweets." What would J.D. Salinger have to say about the "selfie"? Probably that we're all a bunch of "phonies," myself included.
"Trust your heart," J.D. Salinger's Seymour writes to his brother Buddy. "You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you." Do the rest of us get the same dispensation even if we're not deserving craftsmen? Might we be permitted time spent writing potential crap, as long as it's crap that genuinely pleases us (if no one else) to read?
Today kicks off Banned Books Week: the Huffington Post Canada and Indigo have teamed up to bring our readers' attention to books that have been banned or challenged, both in North America and around the world. Starting tomorrow, we will feature one noteworthy book per day that has come under fire, either by a government or a community. Should parents have the right to raise objections to what books their children are taught or are available in their school libraries? And should every book be exempt from challenge, no matter what its point of view or literary merit? These are important questions to consider and discuss this week. Whatever your opinion, remember that in Canada you are free to read a book, judge it on its merits, and discuss it openly.