I once heard that authors, and all artists, must possess a degree of professional vanity. In some part of themselves, they must bear a secret seed, hungry to be seen, an ambition, a need to be celebrated.
Perhaps this is where I fall short, fail to make my mark on the world. Because it has never been about me. I lack the fierce competitive nature, the drive to succeed at all costs.
What I seek is not a story, nor a grand theme. I just want to help people. I struggle with the fact that I don’t have a following, no fan base, no notoriety. I’m not a commodity, and wouldn’t know how to market myself, even if I were the next best thing to hotcakes.
That shouldn’t be necessary. Because what drives me can’t be bought or sold or stolen. It can only be offered and shared. The things I talk about here are not meant to earn me notoriety, but to make you–faceless reader–think.
Maybe these thoughts will spur you to stand up to injustice, offer unsolicited aid to a stranger, be a little softer and more aware. It is too easy a thing to be hard and self-serving. Too easy to become canalized in our ideologies and focused on our individual paths.
If any tiny phrase I share makes you stop and look up, connect, commiserate with those who, a moment before, were invisible–that is enough. It must be, because I wouldn’t even begin to know what price would suffice for empathy.
Perhaps somewhere in my future, the me I become will figure out how to direct and nurture my predilection for language. Maybe one day, I’ll draw together all the separate musical strains that comprise me into a beautiful aria that draws attention and earns me fame.
Until then, I’m here, murmuring to six people who read my blog, scraping by with paid work for others. Because I don’t know what else to do, or what I can do. “Be kind.” It doesn’t require a book of pages to say. “Do not be silent in the presence of injustice.” It has been said by others before, in language more eloquent than mine.
If you read this, be kind, and work hard to become soft again. It is never weak to care unflinchingly, when our culture repeatedly rewards the callous and the cruel. It may be the bravest show of strength you, the everyday individual, can make.