“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” These words were once spoken by President John F. Kennedy. We inhabit a world that is filled by billions of souls. Each of us have our own sense of purpose. Our sense of self. Our own sense of self-expression. Our own sense of what we add to the world that we have been born into. This statement is so simple, yet it contains power. We tend to think of the idea of power being derived from the people, of the people and by the people as an idea born of governance. While this is true, it is more than that. It describes how we can function as a society. While not all of us are great or are extraordinary figures, we all have the power to be. We have the power to be through our actions and how we conduct our lives. This, in turn, impacts those around us and the society around us. Just as a stone casts a ripple when it is cast upon the water, the actions of our lives create a ripple around us. I have this ability. You have this ability. We all have this ability. The question is, do we use it? And if we use it, is it for good or is it for evil?
Now, take a step back. Think upon how you lead your life. What is your purpose? By which virtues do you live your life? Do you seek better the lives of others or merely yourself? How do you set out doing this? Hopefully, you have the courage to follow your heart and stand and deliver upon the virtues in which you believe in. Hopefully, your purpose is to better the world around you, starting with yourself.
I stop and look in the mirror at myself. I am reflecting on the same questions that I have just asked you to reflect on. In my mind, I see a question form in that mirror that has been asked me many times by many people. Why do I write? It seems to be a rather simple question doesn’t it? I am writing this now for others to read with some purpose. I operate a writing website and write lyrics and poems for some reason. Why do I write?
As I reflect upon the questions that I opened this article with, I know that I write for several reasons. Initially, it was to spread a message. I wrote about disability advocacy and advocating for the stopping of the word “retard” as a slur. I did this for a family member and I was proud of it. I also wrote because I liked the attention it brought me. I found I could impress people with it. If I could impress a girl that I liked with my writing and my ideas, all the better! *Note: This never did work for me on the latter when that was my goal*
The more I wrote, the more that my reasons for writing became focused. For me, writing is a form of self-expression. Writing is a form of communication. Writing is a way to explore ideas and to spread a message to others – it is a way to inspire others. In the final analysis, I write to make a positive difference in the world around me. I write to give a voice to those why may not have a voice. I write to spread awareness on issues and provide a perspective that can inspire others. I write to tell a story and to spread a message – hopefully one of humanity.
When I write an article, such as this one, I am seeking to spread a message that I believe in. I am seeking to share a story with you that makes you think. I am looking for opportunities to find stories of humanity winning out – the light defeating the darkness – in this world and letting you see it as well. I am looking to make you aware of an issue. I am looking to make you think. Throughout human civilization, man has chased monetary items as their treasure. As has been pointed out in many different ways, money is not our treasure – knowledge is.
Why do I write my lyrics and poems? For many of the same reasons. I am seeking to tell a story, stir an emotion and make you feel something. My writing process is heavily influenced by music and I will often listen to a series of songs and music to set the mood for what I am feeling that I am going to write. I pull from varying pieces of story-telling and personal experiences in order to write and tell the story. The tone and cadence often is inspired by the music that I have immersed myself into. I immerse myself into the music, when I do this, to the point where I can feel and breathe the tone and emotion that the song is giving. I then use that energy in the piece I am writing. However, the end goal is the same – to share something I am feeling and/or to make the reader aware of an issue. The goal is to make you think.
These are the reasons that I write. Why do I write ultimately? I can sum it up like this – If I can inspire one person, change one heart or make a difference in one person’s life by spreading knowledge, I have been successful. Writing is one of the small ways that I – a small town man – can make a difference. We all have it within us to make a difference.
So, my question to you is “How do you make a difference and why?” Please leave comments on what you do.