Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Big "So What?"

A few days ago my blogger friend Montag had some comments about the readers of his blog, about he was anxious to have people read his stuff when he was "much younger." And now, I take it, he doesn't care that much. Got me to thinking about readers. Actually, I don't have to think that long, because I don't have many readers. And I think to myself: ya know, it'd be great to have hundreds of people wanting to know what I was saying and thinking on any given day, but then I'm brought up by the thought: why? Suppose that were the case. What would be different? What would change? Nothing really. People like Nelson Mandela and Adolf Hitler and Martin Luther King alter the seemingly inexorable arc of history, but if we take a moment to consider, we have to ask how much that arc has been altered by the lives of great and terrible people?

I think not much. We on a wheel of life and death: the only variant being how long we're on it before spinning off into the unknown. Great people and terrible people can momentarily affect the course of the lives of millions of people, who all eventually are swallowed up into the ultimate fate of everyone. The great and terrible can surely affect the quality of these millions' lives, but ultimately to whom does it matter but the persons themselves and those who love them? And to whom does it matter years, centuries, millennia later? What connects me to the victims of Attila or the medieval plagues or a machine gun bullet at Passchendaele or a passenger on the Titanic who went down with the ship in the frigid Atlantic, or the Muslim some Hindu murdered in India in 1947? Why, nothing at all, you might say, and you'd be right. Or you may say something like, participation in the common tragedy of existence, and you would be right also. Or you might see these long gone, long slaughtered or martyred people as intimately connected with the life that is yours, brothers and sisters in the swirl of the great mystery, as much a part of your life and you are of theirs.

I think it must be something like that, or it's just a big "so what?" and either writing or reading blogs is an absurd waste of time.
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