Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

I am Time's Person of the Year


Imagine my surprise when I opened my mailbox to see my own face on Time Magazine. And with it the announcement that I had been named person of the year. What an honor.

Of course, you were also named Person of the Year. So, congratulations to you as well. Good job.

The reason Time went this direction has to do with what you are doing right now--reading a blog. Blogs, podcasts, myspace, youtube--these things and much more have resulted in the spread of self all across the Internet.

Hours before I received my Time magazine, I was reading a blog from Ruth Gledhill, who blogs about religion for the London Times Online. She had been recently challenged about the "me me me" aspect of blogging, and she said this:

That's one of the problems with blogging, the temptation to solipsism is almost irresistible. I hope there will be more response to share with you soon. One of my new year resolutions for this blog is to be less self-referential and to do more on the subjects I've neglected recently, such as the persecution of Hindus in Kzhakstan and elsewhere, the persecution of Baha'is, and of course Israel and Judaism.



Now, as a Christian I fully recognize the evils of me-centered living. Selfishness is sin, however you slice it. And, I also recognize the blessings of honesty and integrity, which only come about by self-examination and self-revelation. This very blog, for instance, is part of my attempt to participate in this self-revelation.

Some people will find this form of self-revelation over-the-top. They may be offended, even horrified by it. (It might be interesting to some to know that I don't talk about everything on this blog. The truly intimate parts of my life I keep, well, intimate), Others, like me, will find self-revelation a key to connection, community, and ultimately change and greater holiness.

I would push the envelop further and say that media is always about the "me" that generates it. The new reality is not that "me" gets into the public realm. The new reality is that any "me" who has a web-linked computer can now be part of the public space.

Hence, my response to Ruth Gledhill on her blog.

It is possible that the greatest thing about blogging is the "me me me" factor. The modernist journalism that I was taught in school told us all to be objective. But none of us are objective. The way I tell the news, or talk about whatever I'm saying, comes forth from who I am. Blogs are, by their nature, post-objective. Self-reference is an essential element of the blog. If you don't want it to be all about "me me me," work for the AP.



In re-reading that, I recognize that even the AP reporter is self-referential. And that reference to what I was "taught in school" comes from the fact that I was a journalism major when I started college.

So, all that to say that I have now been blogging for an entire year. I have talked about myself a lot. And, when I haven't talked about myself, I have been sharing from my perspective. And so have we all--been talking, sharing, living from our own perspective.

My hope continues to be this: in sharing my self and my perspective, I might connect positively with others. We might recognize that we are not alone. We might all know and be known. And, by grace, we might better know the God who loves us, who made us in his own image, and who invites us into eternal relationship with himself and each other.



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