If it is all about honesty the question that needs to be asked is, why do we do it? Why do we share our feelings with the world, post on Facebook, push it on Twitter or make a blog? Since I do all of this and I can’t with any real degree of sanity claim to speak for the entire planet, all I can really do is speak for myself and hope that some of you relate to my revelation of the forces that drive me to sit at my computer and write.
Without question there is some semblance of idealism involved. After all, the letters or essays I write that are the most popular and based on reactions I receive, my best work, are all driven by passion and belief in what I am writing about. It is easier for me to speak in defense of Israel and the Jewish people than it is to type about, let’s say, economics. Of course that may be something obstructing me from accumulating vast degrees of wealth, and that doesn’t mean I don’t like money, but that is the funny thing about passion. You can’t force it and you can’t pretend to have it. You might try to fake it, but when you turn that into any form of expression, ultimately the truth comes out. So a significant element of the driving force behind why I do this is the good fortune of having things that I care about, which I recognize doesn’t separate me from the common decent human being. What separates me may just be that burning desire and ability to express my feelings so openly and completely. Something I consider a gift and a blessing, not an indication of any degree of superiority.
The other side of it, and I think this is an element many reading this share, is ego. So often when we comment, blog, or opine in whatever fashion available, we want to be the one that nails it. We want to come up with that comment or message that resonates above all others. The funny thing is that many of us can do that on at least some level, but what drives a writer such as myself is the ambition to constantly raise the bar. For me, having a comment on a thread that is liked by a bunch of people is nice, but it’s more like the bread they put out in a high quality steak house. It’s good and I enjoy it in the beginning, but it’s not what I came here for.
What adds an even greater dynamic to the discussion is the fact that so many of the subjects being discussed today have an enormous significance. It may sometimes seem like this whole expression thing is just a form of mental masturbation and a self-indulgent way of giving one’s life a purpose, but what can’t be ignored is that in this day and age the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been. Societies ills are spreading, violence is commonplace, war is an epidemic, hunger is everywhere and the world as a whole, even with its many positive elements and developments, is not a happy place. I may have a self-serving side of me that loves it if thousands of people read an open letter criticizing a Bryan Adams or a Michael Moore, but the truth is that I also passionately believe that sometimes their actions and often their words, two things far more similar that people sometimes care to admit, are doing more harm than good.
Words do have power. They can make things happen and they do carry a degree of responsibility. That may be the scary part but it also the most thrilling part, for every time I sit and write I hope that this is the time I write something that really makes a difference. I hope that my words become meaningful to so many people that they contribute to making this world a little happier. Sure it is egotistical, but how many people throughout history achieved greatness without some sort of desire to be recognized and important. Religions would preach that our ultimate goal should always be to reach the highest levels of goodness with the lowest level of selfishness, but since human nature is to be happy and fulfilled when appreciated, I’m fine with that selfish side that motivates me, and if you can do some good, you should be too.
Back to the original point I made about honesty, I meant every word you just read, but in this case I merely wrote it because I couldn’t sleep. Not very idealistic, I know, but if it ends up making a difference, I’ll be extremely happy. Thanks for reading regardless.
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