Once a senior colleague who is now dead, gave The Witch Doctor good advice - “To thyself be true. It is good to care about what people think, but not too much.”I knew the first piece of advice, Polonius's advice to his son Laertes, but it hadn't occurred to me that the second follows on from it. Both in my surgery and in writing this blog I try very hard not to offend people. In surgery that is relatively easy because I can get the measure of my patient. If I need to challenge his or her view of the world I can do so tactfully. “I can see why you think so, but it seems to me that...” But when writing for an unknown audience it is impossible to please everyone. Sooner or later I am bound to tread on someone's toes by writing about a subject on which they are sensitive. Recently I was accused of writing self-satisfied rubbish and I was glad to see one of my colleagues rise to my defence. But criticism is a sign that I am reaching a wider audience, who may not all agree with my views and who at least do me the courtesy of reading what I write.
So I have decided that from now on I will try to be as authentic as I can, and say what I think and feel without any censoring. I don't want to hurt my readers' feelings and I care about what you think, but not to the extent of concealing my own views. There's not much point in blogging if I do that.
This is, you will realise, part of a new policy of pretending that I have a high level of self esteem. Who knows, if I pretend for long enough it may even come true.
All polite criticism will be welcome.