To Blog or Not to Blog?

Celebrating! Removing the Stumbling Block

In celebration of this blog's three-year anniversary I went back to the beginning. I am marveling at how much I have grown as a blogger and how much I have learned. It's been an amazing journey that I am so glad I have taken. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride.

So I have a good friend who has been encouraging me to start a blog.  I’ve been pretty sure that blogging is not for me, but she loves it and has experienced much personal satisfaction and professional success from hers.

Why do I think I’m not meant for blogging? Quite honestly, I think it is self-indulgent.  Why should anyone want to read my options over anyone else's?  I mean really, I know I have ideas, and I know some of them are good.  A few of them are probably really good.  But none of that makes me any different from anyone else, right?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am a fan of the internet (and social media and technology in general).  I respect its value and I am in awe of its power.  And I am well aware that I probably only scratch the surface of what it can really do on a daily basis.  And like everyone else, I can’t actually remember how I survived before its existence.

To blog or not to blog; Removing the Stumbling Block
And as for blogs in particular, I’ve read a lot of them.  There are good blogs.  There are some REALLY good blogs.  But I keep coming back to this idea of self-indulgence.  Why should anyone read MY blog?  Why are MY ideas any better than yours?  And so that’s what stops me.  Because I find that I can’t get past this idea that a blog is just simply a way to promote me.  And really, that’s just not who I am.

So who am I? I am all the things so many other bloggers are; I am a wife and mother, I am a teacher, I am a friend and an amateur chef and an avid reader. But I am also a Jewish Educator.  And a Jewish Special Educator.  And that’s where all of my pondering about blogging comes in. 

I have, for 12 years, been directing a successful special education program within a supplemental Religious School in a Reform congregation in Central New Jersey.  I have, for many years, been the only one in my area running such a program, and I am still the only one in my area running one that is so expansive.  I have been asked to speak about my experiences, share my expertise and both help and encourage others to start programs.  I have served on committees, chaired task forces within the Reform Movement and have written many articles.  I have been recognized for my work, which is an honor and a privilege.

And so over the years I have thought seriously about putting myself “out there” as a Jewish Special Education Consultant to offer the workshops that I have developed, to speak about my experiences and to help empower others to create programs of their own.  But this brings me back to where I started…how do you “put yourself out there” without being self-indulgent?  How do you say, “I have a lot to offer” without sounding arrogant?  Where is the balance between necessary promotion and self-indulgence, and how do you find it?

Rabbi Hillel teaches in Pirkei Avot 1:13, “He who advances his name, destroys his name” and in the Babylonian Talmud we learn from Rabbi Joshua ben Levi that, “Humility is greater than all other virtues”.

And so I blog.
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