You’re probably thinking, “Why should I bother reading this?”
I understand. There are days I find myself thinking, “Why should I bother writing this?”
You get weary from the deluge of things to read. Oh, goodie. Another blog among several gazillion about every topic in God’s Universe. So. Sell me.
Why should I read after you?
Fair question. While I’m thinking about my response, let me share my thoughts about why I should not merely maintain this humble blog; but why I intend to keep improving on it, writing and publishing books, and probably winding up with speaking engagements because of it.
I wish I could tell you it would be easy to quit.
It wouldn’t. It would grind at my guts – well, what’s left of them – to stop doing something that’s been crooking it’s ‘C’mere’ finger at me for a lifetime.
People are seldom happier than when they are in the ‘flow,’ which is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved and you’re using your skills to the utmost. (Psychiatrist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) No. I don’t know how to pronounce that. It’s why we have Google.
Jim Stovall says, “While I don’t know everything, I’m still the world’s leading authority on my opinion.” William Arthur Ward wrote, “If you can imagine it, you can possess it. If you can dream it, you can become it. If you can envision it, you can attain it. If you can picture it, you can achieve it.”
That’s what I do and why I do it. I work to draw you work pictures that help you envision yourself higher, nobler, more-than. I’m your Chief Encouragement Officer, quite likely the best at it you’ll ever know.
There’s no other reasonable explanation for why I didn’t die back in ’97 when this weird, wacky, wonder-crammed journey began.
Somehow, God had in mind for me to be part of His A-team tasked with aiding homo sapien bipeds – yeah, just like you and me – in not being absorbed by the Borg-like reach of cyberspace. It can happen. And it seems to happen easiest the younger the victims.
Grow up with the ‘Net, Googling everything, and it’s so familiar as to be considered normal. The young ones don’t ken the more, ah, mature folks who lived prior to the ‘Net. You can recognize them; they’re often seen in the evenings out walking their pet dinosaurs.
Point: those to whom I write need to remember who, what and why they are.
I encourage them while indulging in social media pastimes: resist using any identifier other than your own picture. Alone, with a group, wearing a costume, or (#gagmewithahairball) yet another picture of you with your cat.
The online world is enough of a lie. Oh, maybe not intentional–but so much of what’s out there is misleading. Don’t add to it.
You’re not an electronically-produced online personality. You’re real people: men and women with daily challenges and work and relationships. Anyone silly enough to believe themselves defined by their online persona is gonna be miserable.
Life does not occur on FB. Okay, sometimes it seems that way, because if you dare ‘friend’ someone to be polite, your home page is suddenly deluged with every picture they’ve ever taken since birth, every meal they eat, everywhere they go, whether around the corner or around the world.
You know what I mean. You, too, have caught yourself thinking, “Oh, puh-LEEESE! Yeah, I like you and occasionally enjoy keeping up with what’s happening in your life – but every 10 minutes? Everything you do, everywhere you go? C’MON, now–how about using a little common sense?”
Think about it. Everyone has the best grandkids. Everyone’s family is the most fun. Everyone’s pets do the strangest, goofiest things. Everyone’s dining experiences, whether at a curbside Taco Truck or in a fine restaurant, are great times. Everyone’s vacations are tops.
You know where we’re going here. That does not mean everyone else needs or wants to see a running pictorial or video account of it all in perpetuity. I’m being careful here . . . being an experienced hospital and ER chaplain, very little bothers me to see. However–I know of few who simply cannot WAIT to see yet another poorly-chosen testament to someone’s tumor or infected wound or . . .
It’s a wonderful thing to build or rebuild friendships online. Forty or fifty years melt away as old friendships unite acquaintances and football bleacher memories. Thousands of miles instantly disappear. But it is no substitute for having banana bread and coffee around a table or taking an evening walk with the family or seeing a person’s real smile instead of their emoji.
There is no substitute for stuffing that offensive bleeping, booping, chirping little taskmaster in a pocket, after silencing it, and walking over to a friend’s house for a personal chat. I don’t speak for you; but I’m just a little put off by a constant electronic fence. Yeah, it’d be nice to pitch it on the counter and just leave it home. Unfortunately, it’s often the only phone we have. Perish the thought we might dare to be out of comms once in awhile.
“Who does that any more?”
I know, right? That’s the point. If it doesn’t involve wheels, a/c and music of some kind, it doesn’t happen.
But we used to do it all the time. Our OS was called ‘outside’. We spent long hours sitting around each other’s table, on the front porch, the back deck or patio or just walking around the block as dusk was dusting the day with its soft starfall.
Sometimes making your presence online more powerful means unplugging and going offline.
So–how cool is it that I, humble writer, can pursue my craft using my online presence to reintroduce us all to the nobler, gentler, not-so-simpler experience of interacting with and drawing closer to real people?
Sometimes I believe one of the major foundation blocks to restoring some sanity from these years of experimenting with total nuttiness is beginning the process of getting rid of things that continually separate us.
Sometimes I think the most vital thing we can be doing is to begin once again celebrating the things we hold in common–not the least of which is that you and I are surrounded by real people and regular lives.
Yeah. Just like ours.
Oh–as to why you should read after me? I’m unique. There’s no one else out here like me. If you don’t read after me, nothing rotten will happen. But you’ll be sure to miss out on what makes every day’s 2nd Cup what it is: my means of lifting, encouraging and edifying you–and challenging you on to personal and spiritual excellence.
© D. Dean Boone, June 2015