“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” — Anne Frank
A while back I was asked why I write. I gave a couple of reasons, but to spice things up I gave one reason I hadn’t really thought through. It was also the one that stuck in my mind.
I basically told him that there’s plenty of negative stuff that we can focus on, so I try to write positive stuff to balance it out.
Now that I’ve had some time to figure out what I really wanted to say, I figure I might as well share it with you.
It’s easy to look at the world and resign oneself to the belief that there’s far more bad things than there are good.
While we shouldn’t ignore the things that need improving, our focus should be on finding solutions.
Let’s take the news for example. Their role is to report the facts, what happened, how, and why, but they rarely have time to explore possible solutions. As a result we’re left sitting there with two feelings. First, that there are horrible people doing horrible things in the world. Second, that we don’t know what to do about it.
What we’re missing is that the vast majority of people wake up, try to do something productive with their days, and live decent lives. Yes, the people creating this mess are a very loud minority with tools to do some serious damage. We shouldn’t ignore that.
The question is what we should be focusing on instead. Well, no one can do it all.
Let’s say you’re on your way to work and there’s a candy wrapper twirling around on the sidewalk. It’s easy for you to pick it up and throw it in the trash.
What if you see a giant pile of steaming garbage instead? Now you’re completely overwhelmed. You don’t know even where to begin.
You might hope that someone will come along with and pick it up. You might want to ask friends, family, and passersby for help.
But the solution is very easy.
You start by picking up a single candy wrapper.
Now, you can stop there and be content with the fact that you at least did something. That’s definitely better than doing nothing.
What if you passed that pile every single day on your way to and from work, and picked up just one piece of trash every time?
It’s not much, but it’s something.
Maybe someone sees your actions, and it’s enough to make them pick up a single piece of garbage as well. Perhaps someone sees that person picking up a piece of garbage and they do it too.
Or perhaps they don’t. There are no guarantees. And it’s likely that no one will thank you for your contributions.
Still, you keep picking away at that pile. Day after day. Year after year.
So, what does this have to do with writing?
It’s basically the same, except that there’s a trace left on the internet.
I want to put good things into the world. I want to help balance out all the crap that’s out there.
I try to put 4 blog posts out every week. My hope is that maybe, just maybe, someone will read one of them and it’ll make them go: “Huh, I want to do that. Only better!”
Maybe that person can start writing 1 post (or more) per week that provides someone else with value. Perhaps they write something that goes viral and that enables them to write helpful articles for a living. I hope that happens.
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing.
Day after day. Year after year.
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!