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.
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 decide...to blog.
And so I decide...to blog.