I never intended this blog to be a place for me to go off on issues I thought were important. My goal was simply to start a place for me to post anything I felt like sharing with the world, however it’s pretty easy to see that the large majority of my posts have been about social issues that bother me. While the main goal of this blog is to still share my writing with the world I also feel like posting about these issues is important. Of course, with posting all of these things I’ve gotten mixed feelings from friends — often ending in “Well, what’s the point?”
After all, what voice do I have? I’m just one guy in a sea of millions of other writers — I certainly don’t have a very large readership either. While it has been growing since I started the website, my 50 – 60 daily viewers is nothing to the “big guys” who pull in literally a thousand times that (or more). So then, what point is there? Who am I influencing? Who am I informing?
In short: You.
I took a history class a few semesters ago and after the professor had told us something particularly interesting (and shocking) about our history, he informed us that as educated people it was our duty to bring those around us up to our level or to move past them. He pointed out that it is never someone’s fault for not knowing something and that many people harbor feelings of hatred or intolerance simply because they don’t know any better. They’ve been lied to and deceived all of their lives — and unless they’ve had that guiding light to point them in a new direction how could they be blamed?
Most people don’t have epiphanies about these things. They hear something that suddenly gets them thinking and then they go off and do their own research, coming to realize that they haven’t been thinking clearly or that they’ve been lied to. From that point on their world view starts to change and they often become tolerant of things they didn’t previously understand.
Though if that spark never happens then they never start to think and they become entrenched in their beliefs.
In my personal experience (and from looking back at history) I’ve noticed something pretty important: “Change” often doesn’t happen because of giant movements of people suddenly agreeing with each other, it happens because the little guy decides that he won’t tolerate whatever he sees the problem as anymore. When everyday people start to stand up and say “I don’t agree with this” then it just doesn’t become viable for it to be pressed on them without a significant struggle. When we as a people stand up to intolerance or hate the group spreading the hatred is alienated and pushed out of society. This isn’t something that happens overnight — quite the opposite. It usually requires years of constant struggle against whatever the problem is, however ignorance eventually falls when confronted with an educated mass.
While my voice might only be heard by a few people I have a chance to impact how those people see the world around them. Now, most of the people who read this blog already have a pretty open mind (at least I hope!), but we all know certain individuals who could probably be positively influenced by one or two of the articles here. Essentially, if just a few of you send an article to a friend and it has a solid impact then haven’t we made the world a better place? Sure, we aren’t moving mountains here, but like I said before — change happens in little steps. Every little bit counts.
On top of that there is the impact those people might have on their friends and so on — we can essentially form a little ripple that turns into a wave, eventually touching a lot more people than ever expected. This is something that I’m pretty excited to say is already happening! A few weeks ago I noticed a trackback on one of my articles on a blog that I hadn’t seen before. Someone who was a friend of a friend of a friend happened to see an article and decided to share it with the world. It’s pretty cool to see your words have an impact on people like that.
So then — there’s you again, the reader. The guy or girl who has been sitting here reading this blog for a month or so now, coming every day or every other day looking for an update. What can you do to help out?
Simple: Keep reading and spread the word!
If you ever read an article and you truly are touched by it (or just think “hey, this is pretty good”) then please send it to your friends! Post it up on Facebook or use one of the sharing buttons under the posts to get the word out. Together maybe we can actually positively influence some people and make the world a better place. After all, the worst you’re going to do is make someone waste a few minutes of their life reading something!