Wow! I had no idea there’d be something so perfect for a blog on the subject of qigong, which is deeply connected to the concept of Tao (or Dao in pinyin), and for a blogger who believes transparency, accountability and openness are essential.
But indeed there is, thanks to the Washington News Council, a small but active statewide organization.
The logo you see here caught my eye as I was standing at my kitchen counter reading the Seattle Times. Its core was the two-fishes-in-a-circle Chinese yin-yang symbol, which depicts the interdependency of seemingly opposite forces such as yin (female) and yang (male).
Beneath the logo, the word “Tao” was defined as “a Mandarin Chinese word meaning way, path, doctrine or principle”—although as “TAO” it also stands for being Transparent about who you are and what your affiliations and funding are; Accountable for your mistakes; and Open to hearing others’ points of view.
The logo was part of a half-page ad inviting student journalists to join legacy journalists, citizen journalists and independent bloggers—c’est moi!—in taking the TAO Pledge.
I loved it. I’m partial to the two-fishes symbol, although I feel its use here is more decorative than literal, but I absolutely believe in the T, the A and the O.
When I was setting up this blog I considered using a pseudonym because I didn’t want anyone showing up on my doorstep to discuss qigong with me in person. I decided to use my real name because I have always believed that, barring extenuating circumstances, you shouldn’t publish something you’re not willing to put your name behind. Also, I intended to be as honest as possible in what I wrote, and I didn’t see how readers could believe me if I was withholding a key fact—my identity.
This issue came up for me again several weeks ago, when I received notification that a fellow blogger was following my blog and that I might want to check his out. I did. There was some interesting material on his site, including a recounting of his personal spiritual journey.
Not too long ago, I would have dismissed much of what he wrote as way too woo-woo, perhaps even delusional. Now that I experience invisible qi, I can’t do that; what he says he’s experienced could be as real as anything else.
But all I know about this blogger is that his name is Mark and he lives in Shanghai. Yes, perhaps he is an IBM salesman, and posting a photo of himself and revealing his identity while writing about unconventional subjects might be hazardous to his career. Still, I am uncomfortable….
But back to the TAO of Journalism. I like the idea of taking a pledge, of joining with other journalists in a statement of values. I also like the concept of tao, which to me has more spiritual oomph than a list of dos and don’ts, although I don’t suppose the Washington News Council was striving for spiritual oomph.
One more thing: The TAO Pledge has teeth.
If you ever feel I have violated my pledge, you can report me by clicking on the TAO of Journalism logo that will henceforth appear in the right-hand column of qifrontier.com’s home page, beneath the button for following my blog via e-mail.
P.S. This is either an appropriate or inappropriate occasion to mention this, but my Commerce Corner is now up and running. Commerce Corner is an attempt at “monetizing” this website, to use a sanitary word for what the Car Talk Guys refer to on the radio as “shameless commerce.”
I have listed some books, CDs and other products that have been important to me in my practice of qigong; I will be adding others. If you click on any item, you will be taken to amazon.com, where you can learn more about the item and perhaps purchase it. If you purchase it this way, I will earn a small commission and my accountant and I will be grateful. I will never know who purchased what, if indeed anyone purchases anything, so there’s no pressure, not even for my friends.