Over the past few weeks I have been asked several times by many people…
Why do I blog so much?
- Is it because I love to see my obnoxious whining about how a pair of running shoes don’t work for me or that I need to tell the world that I ran 8.0 miles at an 8:17 pace yesterday?
- Is it because I am so very vain and want everyone to know how great I am?
- Is it because I enjoy taking selfies to show everyone who wants to look photos of how “great” looking I am?
- Is it because I want to become rich or famous?
- Is it to represent a brand, get free shit and help them sell stuff?
The answer to all of those “answers” is:
We All Become Memories
What in the hell are you talking about Harold?
Stop and think for a minute.
At some time in the future we all will die, that is just the way it is – we have a limited lifespan.
What will I leave behind?
- Fame, glory, or riches?
Memories and Photographs
Other people will have memories (good or bad) about who I was or who they thought I was, which will quickly fade away. I know this because it is happening to me with people who I love and those who have died.
My memories about them are fading with each passing day and when I am gone, the memories I have of them will be gone, except for the ones that I pass on to others. Memories are fleeting things and do not last.
Stop and think about old photos. When they were taken those photos were important to the people who were in them or taking them. When you look through the old albums from your parents how many of the people in those albums do you know?
I know that when I go back through our old family photo albums, I don’t have a clue about who many of the people in them are.
How many generations of family can you name when you go through the family photo album or when you try to remember your family? I can reliably remember a couple of generations, perhaps an occasional 3rd or 4th generation back, but that is about it (usually it is just a name – not who the person really was).
All the others in those albums are strangers, even though they might have been my great-great grandparents or their family.
To be honest in most of the older photo albums I have from my family, I really don’t know all that much about the people whose photo I am looking at.
I certainly do not know what they actually thought about or believed – most people didn’t keep journals/diaries and even if they did not too many of them survive, the purge that happens when someone dies or later when their heirs or the children’s children clean out the “junk” in the attic.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it, I was not born rich, with great intellect or with the overwhelming need to be a great – fill in the blank.
I am just an average guy who plugs along in his average life that really is not important to most people.
No one will write multiple biographies about how important my life was to humanity, build huge monuments or statues to honor me and I am pretty sure that I will not be in any history books. When I die I will simply be a footnote on some census note and that the successor to Ancestry dot com will use to say they were related to me in some way on their family tree.
Am I ever going to write the “Great American Novel” probably not. Blogging is about as far as I will probably ever take my writing.
Everything that you or I write and publish to the internet is saved somewhere – for ill or good they are there forever.
Is there a lot of crap and stuff that no one really cares about out on the Internet – hell yes.
However, our ability to individually write down our thoughts and publish them to a world-wide audience (even when they don’t mean rats-ass), then have it saved in perpetuity and be available to anyone who wants to read it has never happened before in the history of our species.
As long as there is a an internet, my words will be available to others to read and others can know something about what I thought, believed and a measure of who I was beyond a picture in some damned photo album, in a trunk, in someone’s attic, garage or basement.
Think about the legacy our writing leaves to future readers of our blogs…not only the ones who read what you wrote today, but the people who might be reading this decades, centuries or a millennium from today – if they last that long.
What will they think of what we wrote? Will they say were self-absorbed asshats or that we were not that different than they are with our dreams, aspirations or wanting certain things out of our lives.
Many will say that those readers in the future do not matter, the only thing that matters are your current readership metrics, after all that is where the money is in blogging and making money is what blogging is all about – isn’t it?
Blogs were originally web log of the writer’s life, they have devolved or evolved into something else.
Actually I think that potential future readers of my blog are as important as the ones who read my blog today. Current readers can put what I write about into a perspective from today’s world and comment back.
Those future readers who will be our eventual audience, will be able to see the results of our actions and discussions from a different perspective in time, which I find fascinating. Much as I do when I am reading Civil War letters from soldier to their loved ones or letters and journals of soldiers from World War II.
When I put my blogging in this perspective, I had a paradigm shift in how I viewed my blogging. I asked myself what can I leave behind that they will find interesting or hell even a little useful?
Really the answer is not much, there are others who will leave more of that kind of stuff and will do a better job of writing about it.
The best that I can do, is leave a bit of who I am.
In other words – my story.
The reality is that
I blog because I want to share my story not only with readers today, but also with future generations. This is something that was impossible for the average person to do at any point in history before our technological age and levels of literacy. These advances allow us to achieve a measure of immortality, for as long as the Internet lasts and we can leave behind a bit of who we really are.
You know the story of a now 56 year-old guy, who runs a lot, is a semi-retired, stay at home husband, who has decided to take the time to write about portions of his life’s journey and make it public.
I know that only a few people will ever read my blog posts today or even in the future, but maybe for some reason or other my words might be important to someone, someday.
Who knows, maybe even one of my descendants (a great-great grandchild) might choose to read my blog and get to know a bit more about one of their fore-bearers they see in a photo album through his own writings, instead of what the family histories say or does not say about me.
So that is the purpose behind “A Runnah’s Story” and why I blog so much?
To tell my story and more likely contribute more noise and blather on the Interwebs/Internet.
What legacy will you leave?
What words do you give to future generations to read?