(After being offline, I am still catching up with the fallout from yesterday’s meta thread, and haven’t had time to write. So I shall promote this….another wonderful fallout/ripple of this often conflict filled creative endeavor in which we are all involved. – promoted by buhdydharma )
Blogging is conducted through cyberspace here in the 21st Century, we type on keyboards, we read each other’s words on computer screens. The technology enabling us to engage in this form of communication is new, but what we’re doing when we blog isn’t new, it’s as old as civilization–we’re talking to one another just as people did thousands of years ago, we’re sharing our thoughts, communicating about what matters, reaching for the kind of future we hope to see. We don’t want history to keep repeating itself, there’s been too much war, too much killing, too much misery.
As global war and genocide took the lives of 50 million people only three generations ago, a young girl expressed her hopes for the future in a diary. Anne Frank didn’t know her words would be ultimately be read by millions of people, but they have been and will be for as long as human civilization exists. The most brutal and inhuman regime ever to darken the pages of history killed her in Bergen-Belsen, but it could not silence her.
What was Anne Frank doing?
She was blogging the future.
Her words still matter today. They matter more than ever . . .
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
“I don’t want to live in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met.”
“I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.”
“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
“I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come out right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be. How much you can love. What you can accomplish. And what your potential is.”
The potential of progressive blogs is vast, we have only begun to make a difference. Idealism is not dead and it never will be. It cannot be exterminated in a death camp. It can never be silenced. Don’t ever think that your words will only be read by a few people, they may be read by millions someday. So speak from your heart, express your idealism, condemn injustice, ennoble humanity as Anne Frank has.
Carry on for those who have fallen. Ennoble humanity as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has. Imprisoned in a Stalinist labor camp, he wrote every day on scraps of paper and hid them away. He didn’t know if he would ever be released, he didn’t know if anyone would ever read his words, but he was determined to record the inhuman cruelty tens of millions of people were subjected to by the Soviet regime. The camps were designed to erase the prisoners’ physical and spiritual dignity, living conditions were brutal, prisoners were given only two hundred grams of bread per meal, guards forced them to undress for body searches at temperatures of forty below zero. More than 20 million innocent people died in the GuLag.
The words Aleksandr Solzhentisyn wrote on those scraps of paper were their words, they were the words of every victim of injustice, they were a plea to the future, an appeal for human decency he hoped would touch the conscience of all generations to come, they were the foundation of the epic trilogy, The GuLag Archipelago, the foundation of a timeless novel of enduring human themes, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
What was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn doing?
He was blogging the future.
Countless others have blogged the future, in their own way, in cave paintings that have survived for 30,000 years, on clay tablets in Sumer, where civilization was born, on papyrus scrolls throughout the ancient Middle East, in the first books to be printed in medieval Europe, on parchment in the Declaration of Independence, in music in the concert halls of the world, in the first films at the turn of the 20th Century.
And now, we’re blogging the future on the Internet.
If human civilization survives, the Internet will survive. What we write on our blogs will survive. So don’t think only a few people will read your words, many more may ultimately read them. Anne Frank, alone in that attic, didn’t know if anyone would ever read her words. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, imprisoned behind barbed wire in a labor camp in the Soviet GuLag, didn’t know if anyone would ever read his words. But they wrote them anyway, they resisted injustice because resisting injustice matters, no matter how futile it may seem at times. What they thought about still matters, what they longed for still matters, their lives mattered, every human life matters. They were blogging the future as we must do, the only difference is they were blogging the future with a pencil instead of a keyboard.
A generation from now, historians may be quoting from essays written on our blogs, as they record for all posterity that we took a stand, that we spoke out, that we deserve the gratitude of all future generations for helping turn humanity away from the abyss. A century from now, in recognition of these years being a critical turning point in human history, entire university departments may be devoted to studying the Netroots and what we achieved. 2000 years from now, an Anthology of Ancient Netroots Essays may be published and read by billions of people living on thousands of new worlds for humanity across an entire galaxy.
So write well.
The stars are high, but reach for them anyway.
That’s what they’re up there for.
Don’t hold anything back.
Speak from your heart.
Make it count.
Blog the future.