A Hiatus Worth Talking About

I’m going to start this blog post with a rare moment of introspection — for Razor Online, that is.

I’m sorry.

“What does Aaron mean by, ‘I’m sorry’? Why preface a blog post with an ambiguous apology?” Usually when people say, “I’m sorry,” there’s a reasonable presumption that the person doing the apologizing committed a deep, intrinsic wrong. That “intrinsic wrong” is so detestable, in the eyes of the public, that an apology is required. Often times, apologies are canned and carefully crafted public relations gimmicks that are intended for the “apologizer” to make amends and repair the brand that they helped tarnish through their words and actions. “I’m sorry for firing that missile and blowing up Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Putin told me, ‘Press the button. Any button!’ I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ I was rebel who has no ties to Russia. He’s the President of Russia. How could I say, ‘Nyet!’ to such gentleman?”

But let’s get to the point. I’m sorry for taking this long to grow up.

On the evening July 26, I found out that I will be the President of the Eco Rotary Club of Morro Bay for the 2015-2016 Rotary year. The Eco Rotary board gave me their vote of confidence. I’ve never been President of anything before. I’ve never been in a substantial position of responsibility before. The club collectively expressed their faith in me: some hot-headed, silver-tongued kid who one day thought, ‘Maybe I should do something meaningful for a change.” Last year, I joined the Eco Rotary Club of Morro Bay, volunteered on a few occasions, attended a couple of meetings, and I met some really wonderful people. I thought, “Wow, this is great! I truly feel like I belong here.” Over time, that sentiment was reciprocated. The club’s response was, “We believe you belong here. We believe in you.”

The Rotary organization is great because it’s apolitical. There’s no visible, palpable line of contention that is drawn, creating sides and tension. Don’t get me wrong. I love politics. It’s invigorating, but I was able to build people’s trust without resorting to it. It’s true that there’s politics in everything, and it would be unrealistic to assume that there won’t be any political obstacles to overcome within Rotary. However, to get to where I am today, I did not need Razor Online.

I started Razor Online because I was angry, opinionated and wanted to go as public with my words and thoughts as possible at the cost of my objectivity. Then I lost myself in the politics. Insult after insult. Barb after barb. I relied on sources who turned out to be unreliable; if I maintained even a sliver of objectivity, I would not have given them attention. Then I decided to retool my approach. I was still pointed, but I consulted local writers who helped me evaluate issues through a more objective, thorough prism. I thought that if I communicated the same message over and over, people will eventually listen and get inspired to take action. Then people started to read me by the thousands every month. My written work was now on the tip of people’s tongues. People expected me to be that fiery political columnist, delivering the same fiery message week after week.

Instead, I ended up in the same predicament that forced me to reevaluate my approach in the first place. I was back as the squeaky political cog in the wheel: keeping the political machine running, but doing absolutely nothing to make my life or my community better. As a writer, there was no further intellectual nourishment that I could obtain. I was staying at one peak when I knew there were taller mountains to climb.

So I tried an experiment. “Okay, let’s see if I can be part of the solution for once, and see how that turns out.” I joined Rotary. The rest was history. No politics breathing down my neck. Just work, results and resolutions. Not once did I need to rest my laurels on a website that thrived on negativity.

I decided to put Razor Online on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

Does this mean I’m going to give up politics and join a monastery? Of course not! Are you kidding? Politics is the opiate of critical thinking. It is my lifeblood. But I would rather engage in a way that yields some benefit or some greater understanding that significantly outweighs any importance of personal gratification. At this time, Razor Online is not a suitable medium for that achievement.

Let’s more forward.