Since I’ve become a regular blogger I make it a point to look at other blogs for ideas and motivation. I follow several health care related blogs as I’m sure you would expect. I also follow a few sports blogs and I follow/followed Roger Ebert’s blog. Roger Ebert is the Ebert of the Siskel and Ebert movie critic team. I never really appreciated Roger Ebert as a movie critic but I enjoy his blog because it’s about a lot more than movies, it’s about life.
Sadly Roger Ebert recently lost his battle with cancer and I’m going to miss his insight. I’d like to share what a fellow blogger had to say about Ebert because it sums up my thoughts perfectly about not only Ebert but about blogging because my approach at blogging was similar to Ebert’s. This may be a health care blog but if you read even semi-regularly you know that this thing goes a lot of different directions!
In recent years, though, he started writing prolifically about things other than just movies. (He still wrote an insane number of reviews, however.) Blogging fit him like a glove, and once he started — once he discovered that you can build a strange, wonderful community online and interact with it (don’t I know it) — he embraced it entirely. Those following his blog read his thoughts about death, and politics, and literature, and Gene Siskel, and his wife, and his family, and his faith. Sometimes his views mirrored mine exactly, and sometimes they very much did not. But his writing either taught or verified certain things for me that I feel and reflect on nearly every day.
1. If you love what you do, people can tell. And if you love what you do, share that love. Communicate that love as much as possible.
2. Try to learn as much as possible about everything. Don’t be ashamed of knowing things. And don’t ever stop asking questions.
3. Demand as much as possible from others.
4. When you realize you’re wrong, admit it. Have strong opinions and challenge people to change them. And never, ever be afraid to make fun of yourself.
5. Pride, confidence, and humility are infinitely more important than appearance.
It’s not like I didn’t know these things before Ebert came around. I’ve had some pretty good role models in my life. But he embodied those beliefs as well as any public figure I can remember. He served as a role model for me and so many other young writer/bloggers. Cancer is an a**hole, and we always knew this day was going to come (even though, after what he posted on his journal earlier this week, we all thought we would get at least a few more months of him with us). But he fought that bastard off for quite a while, and we are all better for it. He lived a full, and surely very satisfying 70 years. And we should all hope that both our lives and our passing can so deeply impact so many.