I rarely read my old work. In fact, I hardly ever even think about all the old stuff I’ve written and scattered around the various spaces of my life: thumb drives, websites, my Google Drive account, a personal folder or two on my computers, old journals in the guest-room closet. When the thought of these artifacts’ continued existence does cross my mind, my “should” machine slips into gear and churns out the usual concoction of guilt and anxiety. The machine, it should be noted, is maintained in good working order by way of a steady application of my insecure belief that I am squandering my talents as a writer and wasting an opportunity to become a wiser, more useful version of myself by neglecting the various resources I have at my disposal—such as my old work—to both generate new ideas and affirm my progress through the various passages of my life.
It's a terrific book. Here's the link to the article.
Posted today (4/1/16):
Spittin’ in the wind, we are. Spittin’ in the wind. Most of us are guilty of it -- I certainly am. Here’s what I mean:
Lots of us are passionate and full of opinion about worthy and important causes, and we understandably head over to our online platform of choice—Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc.—to create and share media that advance those causes we hold so near and dear.
I don’t take issue with that in and of itself, of course. But I suspect that, most of the time, it amounts to precisely nothing where action is concerned. Even if we have carefully avoided creating an online echo chamber for ourselves, and even if our friends somehow represent all the foibled nooks and crannies of the political spectrum as it exists today, the most that any given post on Facebook is going to do is collect a bundle of likes or host a series of impassioned, feverishly typed comments.
And then everyone logs off and gets back to their normal daily business of living life.
What a wasted opportunity.
We live in a representative democracy! There are human beings who are elected into office at each of the local, state, and national levels of government whose jobs it is to work toward the creation of a more just and excellent society on our behalf -- and, lest we forget, we are the keepers of the keys. We get to vote ‘em in, and we, if we wish, get to vote ‘em out. And in the meantime, we have every right to tell those office-holding humans that are beholden to our interests exactly what’s on our mind where these various important issues are concerned.
Our society is imperfect, to put it mildly, and we have a long way to go. Lots of us, for any number of reasons both simple and complicated, are struggling very badly. We face many challenges, some of which are unique to certain populations, while others are unique to certain municipalities, regions, and/or states, and others, still, are shared by us all.
My working hypothesis these days is that if we harnessed even a fraction of the energy we expend on social media creating, sharing, and debating our many important causes and issues, and instead engaged our elected representatives at all levels of government through phone calls, letters, petitions, emails, etc., We the People would get a lot more done than we do now.
No April Fools here, friends. Have a tubular Friday and a gnarly-delicious weekend.