On Second Thought

And your name was . . . ?

There is this peculiar conversational idiom popular now for some years.  Most often I find it occurs during business transactions, but it might just as often happen with a new personal acquaintance.  It is simply this: somebody asks for your name in the past tense.  Think about it. We have all experienced it, perhaps we are compelled to use the idiom ourselves.  But my question is why?  Why do we ask What WAS your name, rather than What IS your name?  Continue reading

On Second Thought

We value very young children for their spontaneity, their unguarded self-expression. Whatever the activity, they’re all-in, free of self-consciousness—that outside standpoint that makes of self an object, wondering how one looks, how one is being judged. Yet growing-up means developing an ego, a self-image, and entering the social hall of mirrors where images are distorted, inverted and shot back, sometimes with horrifying effect. And this leads, naturally, to a curbing of impulse.

Second thought is the giving of thought to thought. It adds an extra layer, and therefore can clearly disguise and encumber. But is that all? Is self-consciousness necessarily nothing more than constriction?

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